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Chen Earns Bid To NCAA Championships on Last Day of Zones

Mar 9, 2022

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- On the final day of the Zone E Diving Championships, Tony Chen punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships earning a bid on the 1m this afternoon. With this qualification, Chen earns a spot to compete on the 3m as well.

It's the first time is school history that three men have qualified and the first time a freshman women diver has earned a bid to the championships.

In total, four Ute divers will compete at NCAA's, tied for the most in a single-season in school history. It's also the second consecutive year in a row Utah will have four divers representing.

"I'm so proud of this entire team. What we accomplished this week is completely unprecedented in school history as it's the first time we've ever had 3 men qualify and the first by a freshman women diver," head coach Richard Marschner said.

In the 1m prelims, Chen was just short of recording a new personal-best scoring a 364.35 to finish third as Jenner Pennock was able to top his previous best by three points and total 320.60, good for seventh. McDivitt would join his teammates, advancing to the finals with a point total of 308.30 to capture 11th.

Chen would showcase another strong set of dives in the finals to earn the third-place finish (346.90). McDivitt was next in sixth with a bounce back personal-best score of 344.30 while Pennock captured eighth totaling 318.50 and adds the 1m to his schedule at NCAA's in a couple weeks. 

"The guys brought their A game today on the 1m as Luke and Jenner both set PB's and Tony was only three points off," Marschner said. "I'm really happy with how Tony and Luke responded today and even though Luke didn't qualify, he left it all out there and had his best performance of his career on the 1m."

Freshman Holly Waxman was the lone Ute in the women's platform, looking to sweep in her first Zones meet. Waxman moved on to the finals after a personal-best 239.75 performance in the prelims to earn ninth. In the finals, Waxman just missed qualifying for her third event scoring a 218.25 to finish 14th.

"Holly was so close to adding tower to her schedule at NCAA's but she missed one dive during the finals which knocked her down just out of the top-12," said Marschner.

Up Next
The four Utah divers who earned a bid to the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga., will now begin to prepare for the meet set to take place Mar. 23-26 at the McAuley Aquatic Center.

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