March 9, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – With a spot in the NCAA Championships on the line, senior Lisa Faulkner and freshmen Greg Ferrucci and Zack Peterson are ready to compete at the Zone C Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio beginning Thursday, March 10.
Faulkner, Ferrucci and Peterson earned scores high enough to place them in the diving zones. Zones are the divers’ one shot at qualifying for NCAA’s.
“I’m really excited for the zone meet,” UK diving coach Ted Hautau said. “The divers have been training well and training hard. We got back from SEC’s and did some hard workouts in order to get loose and ready again. We’re here now and getting acclimated to the pool which is new to everyone. For the guys, it’s their first time at this meet since they’re freshmen. It’s a great opportunity for them. As long as they stay relaxed, they’ll compete very well. Lisa has been training really well right now. She too just needs to stay relaxed and steady and she’ll do well too.”
Where in swimming, the student-athletes have opportunities at each meet throughout the year to earn an NCAA (A) qualifying time and automatically receiving a spot in March’s NCAA Championships, in diving, the student-athletes can only qualify for their respective zone meet. There are five zones throughout the country. Earning a top score at the zone meet is the only way for the divers to make it to the championships. By the end of the three-day meet, 10 women and seven men from the zone will have earned a spot into the NCAA Championships.
The women will compete on the three-meter board Thursday and the men will go on the one-meter board. The women and men will then switch boards for Friday’s competition and they will finish with the platform on Saturday.
“The three-meter is a good event for Lisa,” Hautau said. “The main thing with this format is to stay consistent because they’re going to dive their list of dives twice. There’s going to be a long time between dives so she’ll have to stay relaxed and in the moment. Greg and Zack are both really steady on the one-meter so it’s a good meet for both of them. There’s a lot of parity here so they just have to go out and be confident.”
After completing their first list of dives the divers will be trimmed down to the top 18. As opposed to other meets, in zones the divers’ initial score after their first list of dives will not go back to zero. Instead, the divers will continue to add on to their first list of dives for a cumulative final score.
The women's NCAA swimming and diving championships are March 17-19 at the University of Texas and the men's NCAA championships are set for March 24-26 at the University of Minnesota.
For results from Thursday’s dives and for all Kentucky diving news, go to UKathletics.com.