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No. 17 LSU Closes NCAA's With Highest Team Finish in 30 Seasons

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No. 17 LSU Closes NCAA's With Highest Team Finish in 30 Seasons

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – LSU diver Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant and LSU swimmer Maggie MacNeil closed out the final day of the 2023 NCAA Championships Saturday with a silver and a bronze, respectively, and concluded the meet inside the Allan Jones Aquatic Center with the highest team finish since 1993.

Lavenant finished in second place, and the silver medal marked the first time an LSU diver on the women’s squad placed in the top two at NCAA’s since 2001. The last diver to medal on the tower was Ashley Culpepper, who scored 453.45. Lavenant had a score of 347.00 and eclipsed the LSU school record she set it at the Auburn Diving Invitational earlier this season.

MacNeil, the 50-yard free national champion and silver medalist in the 100-yard butterfly finished her collegiate career out with the hat trick of medals. In the 100-yard free, she touched the wall third with a time of 46.58.

The four combined medals from MacNeil and Lavenant helped lead the Tigers to new heights with a 13th-place team finish and 112 total points. Under second-year head coach Rick Bishop, the program produced a 19-spot jump from last year’s postseason and its 32nd-place finish. In addition, the LSU women finished at No. 17 in the CSCAA dual meet polls.

During the prelim session, LSU had seven participants. In the first event of the day, Ella Varga competed in the 200-yard back and claimed 41st place with a time of 1:55.13. For the 100-yard free, alongside MacNeil’s championship final appearance, freshman Megan Barnes placed 50th with a time of 49.17. For the 200-yard fly, Jenna Bridges represented the Tigers and finished in 30th place with a time of 1:56.27.

In the diving well, Lavenant led the way with her silver medal but was accompanied by Helle Tuxen and Maggie Buckley in the prelims. Tuxen claimed 32nd place with a score of 216.70 and Buckley claimed 41st place with a score of 205.70.

The women’s season closed with the highest finish in 30 seasons, but LSU will send three participants to the men’s NCAA championships next week to compete. Brooks Curry, Adrian Abadia and Carson Paul head to Minneapolis with the NCAA meet beginning Wednesday, March 22.