LSU Gold

Tigers Place Two on Springboard Podium

by Tanner Craft
Tigers Place Two on Springboard Podium

ATHENS, Ga. – On Day One of the 2019 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, Juan Celaya-Hernandez and Lizzie Cui represented LSU on the podium for their respective springboard events.  Celaya-Hernandez won the men’s one-meter final while Cui finished second in the women’s three-meter final.   

Men’s One-Meter Final:

On the one-meter springboard, Celaya-Hernandez, a junior, claimed the gold by diving to a score of 440.30. It is the second straight year Celaya-Hernandez has won the one-meter at the SEC Championships.  

LSU Diving Coach Doug Shaffer on Celaya-Hernandez:

“Juan was just out competing.  He was in the moment.  In the finals he was diving in the reverse order of finish and because he won the preliminaries he was diving last in the finals so he had all of his competition and the scores that he could see before he did every single dive.  I just told him to start strong, stay out in front and finish out in front and that’s what he did.”  

Women’s Three-Meter Final:

Cui, a senior, took the silver after diving to a score of 388.40.  This is the second time in Cui’s career she has earned silver on the three-meter at the SEC Championships. Aimee Wilson, a freshman competing in her first SEC Championships, finished in sixth place with a score of 321.15.

Coach Shaffer on Cui:

“I think there was a little bit of redemption from last year where she started off well and then faltered a little bit.  We talked about her getting into a competitive mindset where she was having fun and maybe not being so serious but at the same time bringing her ‘A’ game and competing strong.  I think this was a good turning point looking forward to the rest of the championship season.”

Coach Shaffer on Wilson:

“Aimee fought like a Tiger. She had a mishap in the fourth round where she got a little too aggressive, clipped her toes on the board and got twos on the dive.  With a little redirection she fought back.  It was a huge learning situation for her to know that you never give up because anything can happen.  It was a huge maturing moment for her.”   


The relay teams got things going in the main pool on Day One. The women’s team of Kate Zimmer, Summer Spradley, Helen Grossman and Haylee Knight finished in 10thplace in the 200-Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:37.62. The women’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay team of Kit Hanley, Tennyson Henry, Alyssa Helak and Ellie Baldwin touched the wall in 7:14.96 to finish in 11thplace.

On the men’s side, the team of Karl Luht, Luca Pfyffer, Michael Petro and Matt Klotz took 10thplace in the 200-Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:26.48, while the squad of Lewis Clough, Luht, Keegan Finley and Cameron Karkoska also finished in 10thplace with a time of 6:26.14 in the 800-Yard Freestyle Relay.

Swim Coach Dave Geyer on Day One Performance:

“When we look back a year ago where we were day one from a performance stand point, there were some really positive steps today.  With the four relays, you really need all four individuals to be firing and we were just missing a spot here or there tonight.  It’s a long meet and we have four more days of racing ahead.”

Up Next:

Wednesday MorningPrelims

500-Yard Freestyle 

200-Yard IM

50-Yard Freestyle

Women’s One-Meter Springboard

Wednesday Night: Finals

500-Yard Freestyle 

200-Yard IM

50-Yard Freestyle

Women’s One-Meter Springboard

200-Yard Freestyle Relay

For the complete day-by-day schedule and order of events, please visit

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