Feb. 20, 2003
Auburn, Ala. – Coming off a win at the England Senior Nationals, sophomore diver Tracey Richardson continued her hot streak as she won the women’s 3-meter springboard competition, capturing South Carolina’s first Southeastern Conference Championship, in any sport, of 2003.
Richardson’s score of 523.55 was the best of the day at a competition that she refers to as one of the toughest she has had. She said, “I didn’t realize how close the competition was; I had no idea where I was in the placing.” The reason she most likely didn’t know where she was in the placing was because the competition was so stiff. Richardson moved from fourth to first on the strengths of her fourth and fifth dive, keeping the spot at she scored six 7’s and one 7.5 on the last dive to edge of Tennessee’s Jaime Sanger. Richardson won the competition by seven points. That is the same point total that separated second from fourth
On winning her first SEC Championship, and on representing the University as well as she did, Richardson said, “I am just so happy to be here and it means so much to so many people. I’m really proud right now.”
Head Diving Coach Todd Sherritt said about having all three divers in the final, “It is really difficult and unusual for all of your divers to qualify for finals. Laurn King and Allison Brennan did an outstanding job to qualify, and Tracey had a great meet. That is what she is capable of. She deserves the championship and I am very happy for all three girls. They are the reason that we are in first place after the first day. Allison and Tracey didn’t even make the finals last year, so I know that they were happy. They have all been working really hard for this. Now they have to prove that they can do it on the 1-meter also, and I think they will. I said before that our women’s team has the potential to take home both championships, and we are half-way there.”
Head Swimming Coach Don Gibb said that Richardson was instrumental in helping South Carolina to a number one spot after the first day of competition. He said, “The divers were phenomenal and very important tonight. Tracey did an outstanding job and we look for her to continue to do what she is doing. She is going to be able to compete big time in the 1-meter as well, and that’s what we need her to do.”