Jan. 2, 2010

Courtesy of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia divers will kick off the 2010 portion of the schedule as they play host to the Georgia Diving Invitational and Shootout Sunday through Tuesday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The event has a format similar to the upcoming SEC, Zone and NCAA Championships. The springboard prelims will start at 11 a.m. Sunday and Monday with the finals slated for approximately 1:45 p.m. and a shootout for the top six divers at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, the divers will compete in one round on the platform.

Slated to join Georgia for the invitational are SEC opponents Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee, along with Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, Navy, Iowa State, Penn State, Rider, Drexel, SMU and East Carolina.

"We have great teams with great divers coming in, so we are expecting a real good meet," Georgia diving coach Dan Laak said. "It's always a good way to get the new year going. It's kind of fun and laid-back, especially with the shootout. But it's also a good test and it gets the divers excited about what's coming up. We are really looking forward to it."

Georgia's Hannah Moore ranks second on 3-meter and sixth on 1-meter in the SEC. Alabama's Carrie Draglund is the conference leader on platform and is expected to compete. On the men's side, SEC leaders Ryan Helms of Tennessee (1-meter), Aaron Fleshner of Alabama (3-meter) and Kelly Marx of Auburn (platform) are slated to perform. Georgia's Owen Blank has the ninth-best score in the SEC on 3-meter.

In the shootout, each diver will do a dive of his choice with the competitor with the lowest score from each round eliminated until two divers remain. The order of each round is determined by the scores from the previous round with the best score going last. There are five groups and each diver will call out his dive before he goes and cannot repeat a group.

Admission to the Georgia Diving Invitational and Shootout is free.