March 4, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn freshmen Dan Mazzaferro and Kelly Marx became the fourth and fifth Auburn divers to qualify for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships during the third and final day of the Zone B Diving Championships Sunday in Athens, Ga.
Mazzaferro finished third during Sunday's platform competition with a score of 763.95, qualifying him for the NCAA meet. Marx was added to the field as well, thanks to help from teammate Steven Segerlin, who won the platform title Sunday. Because Segerlin had already qualified for the NCAA meet based on his third-place finish in Friday's 1-meter event, his victory in the platform allowed the next highest-ranked diver who had not yet qualified to grab a spot, and Marx, who was fifth in Saturday's 3-meter competition as well as Sunday's platform event, was the recipient of the good fortune.
"It was an outstanding day for us and we met all the goals we had set for this meet," said head diving coach Jeff Shaffer. "We put three guys into the NCAA meet from probably the toughest zone meet in the country, and two women to the NCAAs as well. I'm proud of everyone's efforts and am looking forward to the divers contributing towards defending our team titles at both at the women's and men's meet in the next two weeks."
Segerlin, the defending NCAA and SEC Champion on the platform, totaled a score of 782.45 to win the event and bounce back from what had been up to that point a sub par competition for the SEC Male Diver of the Year. Mazzaferro, the SEC Freshman Diver of the Year, earned an automatic spot on the platform with his third-place finish, while Marx was fifth with a score of 691.70.
"Dan did a tremendous job of stepping up and earning his spot," said Shaffer. "He was right there with everybody all day long and I'm real happy with his effort today. Kelly did a great job as well. He's definitely in a position where he can score some points at NCAAs if he does anywhere close to what he did here."
Also competing for the men was sophomore Scott Morgan
, who finished 18th with a score of 482.15.
Segerlin, Mazzaferro and Marx will join women's divers Corey Gerlach and Lynnsey Segraves, who both qualified during the opening day of competition on the 3-meter board, in Minneapolis for the NCAA Championships.
Segraves finished in fifth place during Sunday's platform competition with a score of 573.30, including a backward 2.5 somersault in the pike position that received one score of 9.0 and one 8.5 from the judges. Freshman Emily Griesemer was 15th with a score of 437.60, and Gerlach did not participate in the platform competition.
"Lynnsey did an outstanding job," said Shaffer. "Her first list today was comparable to what she did at the SEC meet where she was second. Emily did some great things as well. She just needs more experience and to finish her dives to bring her scores up."
The women's NCAA championships will take place March 8-10 in Minneapolis, while the men will compete from March 15-17.