Three Divers Earn Bid to NCAA Championship on Day Two of Zones
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- Utah dive had another impressive day on the boards with three NCAA qualification bids being earned on the second day of Zones. Freshman Ben Smyth and junior Jenner Pennock both punched their ticket on the platform while freshman Holly Waxman captured her second bid in the 3m.
Smyth, Luke McDivitt and Pennock all finished in the top seven of the prelims with scores of 317.90 (4th), 315.80 (5th) and 301.20 (6th) to advance on to the tower finals. Both Smyth and Pennock improved upon their scores from the prelims as Smyth captured third (345.90) and Pennock totaled a new personal-best of 334.15 to move him into sixth all-time at Utah. His previous was set just a few weeks ago at the Pac-12 Championships where he posted a 331.45.
"What an exciting day for us today as we advanced both Ben and Jenner to NCAA's on tower. Ben was just incredible steady all day and he showed why he'll be a real contender to score in this event at NCAA's. I'm really proud of all that he has accomplished this season as a freshman," head diving coach Richard Marschner said. "Jenner had a rough start but he remained composed, kept his head in it and didn't give up. For us to take third and fourth is an amazing achievement for our team."
With Smyth's qualification on platform, he is now eligible to compete on the 3m at the championships because of his placement in the event yesterday.
McDivitt scored a 300.5 to place seventh overall on the platform.
For the women, Holly Waxman continued her phenomenal showing at her first Zones advancing to her second finals in the 3m with a personal-best total of 310.90 (8th), a score that moved Waxman into ninth all-time. In the finals, Waxman posted a score of 308.75 to place sixth and earn her second bid to NCAA's.
"Holly is diving out of her mind and the more the pressure builds, the better she gets. She has really come into her own this week and set a new PB today," Marschner said. "Setting PB's at zones is nearly impossible because it's judged so tightly and the stakes are so high. She gets to finish strong tomorrow on the platform and I couldn't be happier with her meet so far."
Utah dive will close out the NCAA Zone E meet tomorrow with the women's platform and men's 1m, both slated to begin at 11:30am MST.
"We have another great opportunity to qualify Luke and Tony tomorrow and I truly believe that they will be up to the task and grab that top-five place that they need," said Marschner.
Fans can stream all sessions of the Zone Championships on the NAU Facebook page and live results will also be available on Divemeets.com.