Butler, Shaheen Double Qualify for NCAAs at 2021 Zones
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Katie Shaheen placed top-five in platform and secured NCAA double qualification on Wednesday to wrap up UCLA's time at the 2021 Zone E Diving Championships.
Shaheen finished the platform finals with a total score of 482.60 (245.00 in prelims, 237.60 in finals) to place fifth. The top-five finish earned her an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Championships in platform, and retroactively granted her a berth into 3M at NCAAs after she placed 12th in that event at Zones on Tuesday.
The La Canada, Calif. native became the second Bruin to double-qualify for NCAAs at Zones, joining sophomore Hannah Butler who notched an auto bid in 1M with a fourth-place finish on Monday before finishing 11th in 3M on Tuesday. Both will be heading to NCAAs for the first time in their careers; Butler qualified in 1M as a freshman in 2020 before the meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UCLA is now set to send nine student-athletes to the 2021 NCAA Championships, as Butler and Shaheen joined the seven Bruin swimmers who received invitations last week. The Bruins have six student-athletes who were selected for individual events at NCAAs, including four whom double qualified (Butler, Shaheen, Claire Grover, Sam Baron).
Shaheen was in good shape all day on Wednesday, remaining in an NCAA-qualifying spot (top-nine) from the second dive of prelims through the end of competition. She was in sixth place at the end of prelims after recording a collegiate-best 245.00.
While she was on the top-nine bubble for most of the finals, she shot up the standings with the last two dives of her finals list, scoring 59.45 points on a 5152B followed by 58.50 points on a 107B to end up in fifth.
The 2021 NCAA Championships are scheduled for Mar. 17-20 in Greensboro, N.C.
TUESDAY, MAR. 9
Sophomore diver Hannah Butler secured double qualification for the 2021 NCAA Championships on Tuesday after placing 11th in 3-meter at the 2021 Zone E Diving Championships at the Wall Aquatic Center on the campus of Northern Arizona University.
Due to her fourth-place finish in 1M on Monday (545.55), Butler needed just a top-12 finish in 3M on Tuesday to earn a second NCAA berth. She did so by posting a combined score of 567.35 (275.00 in prelims, 292.35 in finals) to take 11th.
Fellow sophomore Katie Shaheen finished right behind Butler in the 3M finals, taking 12th place overall with a combined score of 565.80. Shaheen jumped two spots from prelims (272.40) to finals (291.60). Her finals performance garnered the highest score for her in 3M this season.
By virtue of her 12th place finish in 3M, Shaheen puts herself into position for NCAA double qualification if she places top-9 and receives an auto bid in Wednesday's platform competition. Shaheen is looking to reach NCAAs for the first time in her career.
MONDAY, MAR. 8
Sophomore diver Hannah Butler punched her ticket to the 2021 NCAA Championships on Monday after finishing fourth in 1-meter on the first day of the 2021 NCAA Zone E Diving Championships at the Wall Aquatic Center on the campus of Northern Arizona University.
Butler posted a final score of 545.55, logging a 290.45 in the preliminaries followed by a 265.00 in the finals. Sophomore Katie Shaheen also reached the 1M finals on Friday, placing 17th overall with a score of 494.45.
This marks the second consecutive year that Butler has qualified for NCAAs in 1M, as she was the sixth-place finisher last year at Zones before COVID-19 ultimately forced the cancellation of the NCAA Championships.
In addition, Butler's prelims score of 290.45 was just below her collegiate-best, falling short of her 290.55 at this year's Bruin Diving Invitational.
Butler becomes the eighth student-athlete of UCLA's NCAA-bound group, joining freshman Sam Baron (100 fly, 200 fly), sophomore Gabby Dang (100 fly), junior Claire Grover (50 free, 100 breast), junior Ella Kirschke (200 free), sophomores Sophia Kosturos and Brooke Schaffer, and junior Delaney Smith (relay alternates).
Butler and Shaheen take their second crack at NCAA qualification on Tuesday with the 3-meter competition at Zones. Prelims start at 10:30 a.m., followed by finals at approximately 12:50 p.m.