AUBURN, ALA. - The University of North Carolina men’s and women’s divers continued competition Wednesday in the third and final day of the NCAA Zone B Championship meet at Auburn University’s Martin Aquatics Center.
The final day of compeition consisted of the men’s and women’s 10-meter platform events, with the women diving first. Junior Elissa Dawson had an extremely strong preliminary event where she finished in second place, again, setting herself up well to qualify for the NCAA Championship Meet next weeek in Indianapolis. Dawson finished her outstanding week of competition by placing fourth with a score of 523.45 in the final event, making her one of only three women divers in this zone to qualify in all three events at NCAAs. UNC diving coach Abel Sanchez says this feat should not go overlooked, and that it takes a truly special diver to accomplish this.
On the men’s side of things, freshman Bryan Allen went through a nailbiter of a competition. In order to qualify for the national meet, he needed to finish in ninth place among some of the best platform divers in the country.
After the preliminary round, Allen stood in 11th place and knew he had to have the best event of his career to move up those two spots. He proceeded to nail dive after dive, while those in front of him faltered. When the meet concluded, he stood in seventh place, with a score of 661.15, having moved up four spots, safely punching his ticket to Indianapolis.
After everything was said and done, the Tar Heels have qualified five divers, two women and three men, for the NCAA Championship. The women will begin competition this upcoming Wednesday with the men competing the following Wednesday. Dawson will dive in all three events for the women while Maria Lohman will be in the one-meter. UNC will also be represented in all three men's diving events with Bryan Allen in platform, Jack Nyquist in 1- and 3-meter and Sean Burston in 1-meter.
WOMEN'S PLATFORM DIVING PRELIMS
2. Elissa Dawson, 278.65
WOMEN'S PLATFORM DIVING FINALS
4. Elissa Dawson, 523.45
MEN'S PLATFORM DIVING PRELIMS
11. Bryan Allen, 318.00
24. Max Jenkins, 219.25
MEN'S PLATFORM DIVING FINALS
7. Bryan Allen, 661.15