Ferruci Breaks Record, Fox Qualifies for First NCAAs on 3-meter

March 15, 2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the second consecutive day junior All-Southeastern Conference diver Greg Ferrucci earned an event title at the Zone C Diving Championships with a first place finish on the 3-meter springboard after taking first place on the 1-meter board on Thursday. On the way to his second victory, he also broke the program record twice in the event in both the preliminaries and finals. Teammate and fellow junior John Fox finished fourth in the event and earned his first career trip to the NCAA Diving Championships.

Ferrucci got off to another strong start on Friday afternoon, notching a 434.85 to outscore his second place opponent by 48.45 points in the preliminaries. The 434.85 gave Ferrucci the program record on the 3-meter spring board.

Fox finished the preliminaries in seventh place scoring a six-dive total of 370.05. Corey Cowger also moved onto the finals with a 14th place finish in the preliminaries scoring 352.55.

With four spots open to the top-four finishers in the 3-meter event, three Wildcats went to work to try and capture an NCAA slot. With Ferrucci already into the field after his victory on the 1-meter board on Thursday, if he finished in the top four spots, it would open up another slot for someone to get in.

With Ferrucci so far out in front of the field, it would appear to give one extra diver a shot to fill Ferrucci’s slot who would count as a double-up. Ferrucci’s first place finish of 888.05 was 88.45 points better than second place, as he dominated the field once again for the second day in a row. His finals score of 453.2 shattered the record that he had set earlier in the afternoon.

While Ferrucci was the only male to advance on Thursday, he would have company a day later. Fox was on fire, especially in the finals, as he improved his finals score (391.90) by 21.85 points to move him into the top five. Fox would finish the day in fourth place, earning him an automatic bid to join Ferrucci at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. at the IU Natatorium beginning March 28.

Cowger would finish the day in 14th place with a final score of 699.30.
“Corey Cowger dived well and finished 14th, which is quite an improvement from last year,” said head coach Ted Hautau. “Greg was just good and consistent.  He didn't miss any dives and set a school record in the prelims and broke it again in the final. John Fox was outstanding. He doesn't do a high degree of difficulty list and has to dive pretty much flawlessly, which he did.  He has grown a lot as a competitor. I'm really proud of this team."
The women were unable to qualify any additional divers on Friday as they switched over from the 3-meter boards to the 1-meter event in which Christa Cabot earned her first trip to the NCAA Championships as well.

Sarah Chewning, Rebecca Hamperian and Cabot each reached the finals of the women’s 1-meter, but none were able to solidify themselves in the top four spots of the event. Chewning had the best day of the female Wildcats, finishing in eighth place with a final tally of 541.15 and just 20 points away from qualifying. Hamperian scored a 539.05 to finish in 10th, while Christa Cabot checked in in17th with a 509.95 for the day.

"I was pretty pleased with our performances today,” said Hautau. “It was good to get three men and three women in the finals. Rebecca Hamperian was pretty solid for a freshman finishing 10th out of 57. Sarah Chewning had a good meet with just one little miss on her dives. She was just 20 points out of qualifying for the NCAA's which and finished 8th. She is really improving quickly and I think she is special.”

Kentucky divers will have one last opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships when both the men and women move to the platform on Saturday with events beginning at 11 a.m. at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue. The top two-performers from the event not already qualified for the championships will qualify.

Friday’s Final Results

Men’s 3-meter
1) Greg Ferrucci (888.05)
4) John Fox (761.95)
14) Corey Cowger (699.30)

Women’s 1-meter
8) Sarah Chewning (541.15)
10) Rebecca Hamperian (539.05)
17) Christa Cabot (509.95)