Celaya-Hernandez, Gutierrez Lavenant Earn SEC End of Year Awards

by Tanner Craft | Communications Student Assistant
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Celaya-Hernandez, Gutierrez Lavenant Earn SEC End of Year Awards

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Juan Celaya-Hernandez was named Male SEC Diver of the Year and Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant was named SEC Female Freshman Diver of the Year, announced by the conference office on Wednesday. The end of year awards are voted on by coaches from all SEC Swimming & Diving Programs.

Along with Celaya-Hernandez and Gutierrez Lavenant earning their Diver of the Year Awards, they join Brooks Curry and Mitch Mason in earning their place on their respective All-SEC Teams. 

For the All-SEC Teams, the First Team consists of the top finisher in each event at the SEC Championships, and the Second Team consists of the second- and third-place finishers in each event. The All-Freshman Teams consist of any redshirt or true freshman who finished either in the top eight or is the highest scoring freshman of each event at the SEC Championships, excluding relay events.

Calaya-Hernandez used a phenomenal season to earn SEC Diver of the Year honors, as well as his place on the All-SEC First Team. He started off the season against Alabama by sweeping the springboard events and earning SEC Diver of the Week honors. He dove to a score of 454.35 on the Three-Meter Springboard and 383.70 on the One-Meter Springboard to claim the victories. He once again earned SEC Diver of the Week honors after his performance at the Texas Diving Invitational where he won the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 423.00, and came in second on both the Three-Meter Springboard and Platform with scores of 467.55 and 466.05. Against Texas A&M he won both the One-Meter Springboard and Three-Meter Springboard events with scores of 405.22 and 441.00. At the Auburn Diving Invitational, he won both the Three and One-Meter Springboard with scores of 473.85 and 398.90.

At the 2021 SEC Championships, he claimed the gold on one-meter with a score of 440.45, claiming his fifth career SEC Championship. He then finished in second place on three-meter and fourth place on platform with scores of 472.40 and 345.50. He finished the SEC Championships as the highest diving point scorer of the championships and the sixth highest point scorer after all, earning him Diver of the Meet honors for the fourth time in his career.

At the 2021 Zone D Diving Regional, he finished in first place on the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 440.45. He also finished in second place on both three-meter and platform with scores of 854.55 and 793.80, qualifying him for the NCAA Championships in all three events.

At the 2021 NCAA Championships, Celaya-Hernandez earned the status of All-American on all three events he competed in. He was named an All-American on both One-Meter and Three-Meter after earning the bronze on both with scores of 405.25 and 452.50. He was then named an Honorable Mention All-American on Platform after finishing in fifth place in the Consolation Final with a score of 348.00. He closed out the championships as the highest diving point scorer and one of only three divers to score on all three events. Individually, he totaled 36 points at the championships, which is more than every other SEC school earned with all divers combined.

His performances at the NCAA Championships totaled his NCAA All-American performances to nine, giving him the most All-American performances by a diver in school history.

Gutierrez Lavenant was a driving force for the diving team this year in route to being named SEC Female Freshman Diver of the Year and making the All-SEC Freshman Team. In her first career meet against Alabama, she won the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 334.65 and the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 324.60. Against Tulane, she won the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 319.95 and finished in second place on the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 321.68. At the Auburn Diving Invite, she finished in second place on the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 326.85, third on the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 288.10, and sixth on Platform with a score of 221.45. Against Texas A&M she finished third on the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 269.17 and sixth on the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 254.93.

At the 2021 SEC Championships, she finished in fourth place on Platform with a score of 273.80, 13th on the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 262.20, and 20th on the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 252.30. Closed out the SEC Championships as the highest placing freshman of the meet after her fourth place finish on platform.

At the 2021 NCAA Zone D Diving Regionals, she finished in seventh place on both the One-Meter Springboard and Platform with scores of 571.40 and 534.10. She also finished in 10th place on the Three-Meter Springboard with a score of 629.65. She qualified for the NCAA Championships in all three events.

At the 2021 NCAA Championships, was named NCAA Honorable Mention All-American after winning the Three-Meter Springboard Consolation Final with a score of 348.30… Also at the NCAA Championships, she finished in 17th place on the One-Meter Springboard with a score of 277.75. Her finish on three-meter is the highest finish by a freshman women diver under Coach Doug Shaffer.

“What a great honor for Juan and Montserrat to receive this recognition,” said LSU head diving coach Doug Shaffer. “I could not be prouder of what they accomplished this year, particularly given the unique challenges this year presented. It is a tribute to their hard work, dedication, and perseverance.”

Curry followed up his outstanding freshman campaign with a successful sophomore season, earning his way to the All-SEC Second Team. He won two events in the opening meet of the season against Alabama. He won the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 43.19, the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:35.86, and came in second in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 20.07. At the Art Adamson Invitational, he broke his own school record in the 50-Yard Freestyle, 19.28, to claim the victory. At the same meet, he won the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 42.06, and came in third place in the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:33.75. Against Florida State University he won the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:37.75 and finished second in the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 44.00. In the next meet against Texas A&M, he won both the 100-Yard Freestyle and 200-Yard Freestyle with times of 42.29 and 1:36.71. 

At the 2021 SEC Championships, he earned the silver medal in the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 41.80, breaking his own school record… He also earned two bronze medals in the 50 and the 200-Yard Freestyle with times of 19.16 and 1:32.64. His 50-Yard Freestyle prelim time of 18.97 broke his own school record he set earlier in the season. Curry qualified for the NCAA Championships in all three freestyle events.

At the 2021 NCAA Championships, became the first Tiger to earn All-American status in three different events at one NCAA Championship. He was named All-American in the 100-Yard Freestyle after finishing in seventh place with a time of 41.99… His 100-Yard Freestyle prelim time of 41.77 broke his own school record he set at the 2021 SEC Championships. He also became an All-American in the 200-Yard Freestyle as he finished in sixth place with a time of 1:33.12. He was named an Honorable Mention All-American in the 50-Yard Freestyle as he finished in 10th place with a time of 19.08.

At the NCAA Championships, Curry totaled 32 points, which would have finished higher than 26 teams to close the season. Individually, Curry was the 22nd highest point scorer at the NCAA Championships and the 10th highest point scorer at the 2021 SEC Championships. 

Curry closed out the season as the eighth fastest swimmer in the nation in the 100-Yard Freestyle, ninth in the 50-Yard Freestyle, and 14th in the 200-Yard Freestyle.

“It is a great accomplishment for Brooks to make the All-SEC Team again,” said LSU head swim coach Dave Geyer. “He carried on his high level of consistency from last year.”

To wrap up the end of year awards, Mason earned his spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team after being the highest finishing freshman at the 2021 SEC Championships. Against Alabama to start the season, he finished in fifth place in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 56.93 and sixth place in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 2:08.80. At the Art Adamson Invitational, he finished in third place in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with the then eighth best time in LSU history, a 53.69, and then finished in eighth place in the 200-Yard Breaststroke and 13th place in the 200-Yard IM with times of 1:59.18 and 1:50.81. Against Florida State University, he won the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 54.56, finished second in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 2:01.79 and finished fifth in the 200-Yard IM with a time of 1:51.89. Against Texas A&M, he finished third in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 55.60, third in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 2:03.63 and fourth in the 200-Yard IM with a time of 1:53.64.

He earned his spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team after finishing in fourth place in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 52.32, a school record, at the 2021 SEC Championships. Also at the championships, he finished in 23rd place in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a personal best time of 1:57.73. Over the course of the meet, he totaled 28 points

He qualified for the NCAA Championships in both breaststroke events. At the 2021 NCAA Championships, he finished in 21st place in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 52.35, and 28th place in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 1:55.10, the second fastest time in school history.

Mason closed out the season as the second fastest freshman in the nation in the 100-Yard Breaststroke and the ninth fastest freshman in the 200-Yard Breaststroke.

“When Mitch swam his 100-Yard Breaststroke Final, I realized he was going to make the All-Freshman Team,” continued Coach Geyer. “With how deep and talented our conference is I feel that is one of the hardest accolades to get.”

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