UCLA Divers Compete for Spots at the US Senior National Championships

This weekend, all four returning UCLA divers will vie for spots to the US Senior National Diving Championships to be held in Mission Viejo, CA July 20-25. The weekend's events kicked off today at one of four Zone Championship Qualifying meets around the country. The top five individuals not already qualified for the championship will advance to the National Championship. The National Championship will include this year's US Olympic Team preparing for the Athens Games (to be held in late August).

Today marked the start of the Zone Championship contests with the Women's Three Meter event. In the Zone A Championship Meet, all three Bruin divers advanced to the final. Paige Thompson advanced to the National meet with a fifth place finish (396.18). Amanda Blong finished sixth overall (395.91) and missed making the meet by less than 1/2 of a point. Janine Strack finished 12th after the final (361.89).

'The meet was very closely contested. I am very satisfied with the effort and progress each of these athletes has made this spring. In particular, I am extremely proud of Amanda. This is by far the best three meter performance she has ever had. I wish it could have turned out just a little bit better for her,' UCLA Head Diving Coach Tom Stebbins said. 'I am very excited to have Paige moving on to Nationals. I believe that she is a conteder at the highest level, if we can get a couple of things tweaked up for her.'

Sara Clark, the fourth Bruin competing this weekend will compete in the Zone D Championship later today. 'I am anxiously awaiting those results as well, as Sara has made the greatest strides of anyone in our program over the last six months.'

The meet will continue on both Saturday and Sunday with the one meter springboard and ten meter platform events. 'I am very much looking forward to watching both Amanda ad Paige battle through tomorrow's contest. I am also looking forward to seeing Janine compete on platform. She has done a wonderful job coming off a serious ankle sprain that hampered her training this spring. My feeling is that will not affect her ability to be great on Sunday.'

The final results of the Zone A Championship are below:

Women's Three Meter Springboard (Top Five Qualify)
1) Chelsea Davis (ELI), 411.09
2) Tory Ishimatsu (PDA), 408.33
3) Cassidy Krug (UN), 402.36
4) Katie Giarra (PDC), 396.36
5) Paige Thompson (UCLA), 396.18
6) Amanda Blong (UCLA), 395.91
12) Janine Strack (UCLA), 361.89

Complete results can be found at www.usadiving.org

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