GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida senior diver Monica Dodson broke the Southeastern Conference record in the women’s 3-meter competition (six dives) with a score of 373.85 Friday at the opening day of the 2011 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The SEC title is Dodson’s first, as the three-time All-American became the first Gator to capture the women’s 3-meter crown since Robyn Grimes in 2001.
Before breaking the SEC record, Dodson had previously held the school record in the event at home against Virginia on Oct. 11, 2010 (362.11).
“It was an incredible performance, from an even more incredible individual,” head diving coach Donnie Craine said. “It was fitting that it came down to the last dive, because she treats every dive in practice like a championship is on the line. I could not be more proud of her.”
Leading Auburn’s Vennie Dantin by 7.90 points (312.95-305.05) going into the last dive, Dodson dove to a score of 60.90, giving her the SEC record at 373.85. Two divers later, Dantin needed a 68.85 on the last dive of the first night to defend her 2010 SEC title. The Auburn diver and previous SEC record holder in the event dove to a score of 63.00, giving Dodson her first individual collegiate championship.
Also having an impressive day was junior Kaylee Doback. Making her SEC meet debut, Doback reached the final of the women’s 3-meter event, finishing eighth with a Zone Championship qualifying score of 302.55. Doback also finished eighth in the afternoon’s prelims with another zone qualifying score of 314.30. Freshman Danielle Risley also made her debut at the SEC Diving Championships in the prelims, just missing the final with a 10th-place finish of 294.85.
The Gators were the only SEC school to place three women divers in the top 10.