Kentucky men’s swimming and diving recorded a successful first day at the NCAA Championships on Thursday, highlighted by sophomore Seb Masterton’s performance on the 1-meter springboard. Masterton finished 13th overall in the event to garner All-America honorable mention distinction and score four points for the Wildcats.

“Seb was awesome,” said head diving coach Ted Hautau. “Consistent and cool under pressure, Seb brought his best today. Couldn’t be more pleased with his performance.”

After posting the 14th-best score in the 1-meter prelims with a score of 329.70, Masterton advanced to the consolation finals where he scored a 327.70 to finish fifth in the final and 13th overall. The honorable mention accolade marked the second of young his career after placing 11th in last season’s platform dive.

“Happy with how I dove today,” said Masterton. “Just like Zones, it’s even better competition here – competing with the best of the best and learning from each other. It’s nice to score on the first day. I’m feeling good with how practice has been going and looking forward to 3-meter tomorrow.”

Senior Kyle Higgins made his first appearance in the meet with his performance in the morning’s 500-yard freestyle prelims. Higgins turned in a personal-best time of 4:18.29 in the race to finish 28th overall. After coming into the championships seeded 49th in the race, Higgins improved upon his seeding by 21 spots along with dropping almost two full seconds from his previous personal best time.

Both Wildcats will be back in action tomorrow as Higgins competes in the 100-yard butterfly and Masterton takes on the 3-meter dive.

The 2017 NCAA Championships will resume tomorrow morning, following the same schedule of swimming prelims at 10 a.m. ET and diving prelims at approximately 12:15 p.m. The finals session is set for a 6 p.m. start.

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