Divers Head to National Qualifying This Weekend

July 13, 2006

This weekend UCLA Divers will head to Pasadena for a three day qualifying meet for the US Diving Kaiser Permanente National Championships to be held in Indianapolis, IN, August 1-5, 2006. The Zone D meet will take place Friday-Sunday, July 14-16 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena, CA. The top three competitors on one meter, and the top five competitors on three meter and platform will advance to August's Championship.

Competing for the Bruins will be seniors Sara Clark (1M, 3M) and Amanda Blong (1M, 3M). Both redshirt seniors, Clark and Blong both have an excellent chance to advance. Blong will attempt to return to the meet on one meter where she finished 13th on one year ago. Clark will be attempting to make her first trip to Senior Nationals.

'Both of my seniors have just had a great spring and summer,' said Dive Coach Tom Stebbins. 'I am very excited to see them compete this weekend.'

Also competing will be sophomores Marisa Samaniego (1M, 3M), Tess Schofield (10M), and Brittany Hill (1M, 3M).

'Marisa is in the best shape of her life,' added Stebbins. 'Everything is coming together just at the right time.'

Samaniego, the 2006 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, will attempt to qualify to the Senior Meet for the second time, after finishing 19th on three meter at last summer's championship. The sophomore has shown steady improvement over her time at UCLA and will compete on both springboards this weekend.

On Sunday, Tess Schofield will compete on platform. Schofield's performance last summer (8th place) has earned her a prequalified spot to the National Championship.

'Tess has just had an outstanding year. She was seventh in April at the U.S. Open in this event in a huge lifetime best, and I believe she has become more competitive over the past three months. Tess will be competing two new dives this summer, so this weekend is the first of our test runs in preparing for August.'

Events begin each day at noon, with the three meter, one meter and platform happening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this weekend. Admission is free to all who wish to attend. Results may be found at www.divemeets.com. Information for the upcoming National Championship may be found at www.usadiving.org.

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