[su_spacer size=”20″] Six members of the Georgia diving teams will compete in the NCAA Zone B Championships Monday through Wednesday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Zone B Championships marks the only way divers can advance to the NCAA Championships. The women’s NCAAs will be March 19-21 in Greensboro, N.C., followed by the men’s NCAAs March 26-28 in Iowa City, Iowa.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Competing for the Lady Bulldogs this week will be Olivia Ball, Darcie O’Brien and Kelly Thatcher. Crawford Berry, Ian Forlini and Walker Wheeler will be representing the Bulldogs.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “We really excited about this meet being in Athens,” Georgia diving coach Dan Laak said. “Anytime you’re at home, there’s an advantage. Our kids are familiar with the boards and the surroundings, so we’re really looking forward to it and seeing what we can do.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Joining Georgia’s divers will be student-athletes from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Florida State and Miami.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “This is not an easy zone,” Laak said. “We can’t let our guard down. We have to fight and do the best job we can. We’re going in with the attitude that this has got to be our best meet of the year.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] There is a new system in place this season for the five zone meets that will give more divers the chance to advance to the NCAAs. The top four male and five female divers on 1-meter springboard, 3-meter springboard and platform will move on. Additional place finishers will be determined by the number of divers from that zone that finished in the top 16 in that event at last year’s NCAAs. Zone B, for example, could have as many as 25 women (10 on 1-meter, seven on 3-meter and eight on platform) and 25 men (nine, eight, eight, respectively). In order to compete on multiple boards at the NCAAs, a diver must achieve Zone standards beforehand.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Zone B Championships will start Monday at 11 a.m. with men’s 1-meter springboard, followed by the women’s 3-meter competition. On Tuesday, the women’s 1-meter will start at 11 a.m., followed by the men’s 3-meter prelims. The platform events (women first, men second) will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. There is no cost for admission.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Live results for the meet will be available through DiveMeets.com.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Photo credit: Sean Taylor