March 15, 2008
NCAA Zone B Diving - Meet Central
AUBURN - Auburn's Kelly Marx and Dan Mazzaferro advanced to their second finals of the 2008 NCAA Zone B Diving Championships on Saturday as the pair finished in the top eight of the men's 3-meter springboard competition.
Hosted by Auburn University, the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships is a three-day meet, bringing together the top divers from 25 colleges and universities from the southeastern United States.
Saturday's competitions included the women's 3-meter springboard and the men's 1-meter springboard. Action in the NCAA Championship-qualifying meet continues Saturday with the platform competition at 10 a.m. at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
Georgia swept Saturday's events with Hannah Moore winning the 3-meter and Chris Colwill winning the 1-meter. Moore scored a combined 647.95, 324.85 in prelims and 323.10 in finals, to win the women's 3-meter event while Colwill scored a 798.70, 396.15 in prelims and 402.55 in finals, to win the men's 1-meter. The win is the second of the meet for Colwill as he won the 3-meter on Friday.
Tennessee's Lauren Leroy finished second to Moore on the 3-meter with a score of 625.85 while Brittany Viola of Miami finished third with a 609.40. Kentucky's Kari Retrum finished fourth with a score of 581.60 with South Carolina's Taryn Zack rounding out the top five with a 572.45.
On the men's 1-meter, it was Miami's Reuben Ross coming in second to Colwill with a 734.00, followed by Terry Horner of Florida State in third with a score of 710.80. Kentucky's Stephen Andrews finished fourth with a 697.10 as Auburn's Marx rounded out the top five with a score of 674.35.
The top 12 women and top 10 men from the weekend's events will advance to the 2008 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The women's Championships is scheduled for March 20-22 in Columbus, Ohio, while the men's is slated for March 27-29 in Federal Way, Wash.
Marx led the Tigers with his fifth-place finish, and while it does not automatically qualify him for the NCAA Championships, Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer
is confident he has put himself in a position to make the cut.
"I was pleased with Kelly's second list of dives," said Shaffer. "He put himself in a hole in the first list, but he fought back and put himself in a position where it is not automatic that he is going to get in to NCAAs, but he should make it after someone doubles up tomorrow. I'm confident that he has pretty much made the meet, but we will for sure tomorrow."
Marx scored a 328.55 on his preliminary list, placing fifth heading into finals. He stayed consistent throughout his second list of dives and scored a 345.80 to finish fifth overall with a total of 674.35.
Not far behind him was Dan Mazzaferro in eighth place with a score of 635.60. Mazzaferro, who qualified on the first day of the meet with a third-place finish on the 1-meter, scored a 315.35 in prelims and a 319.25 in finals.
"With Dan, sometimes you are a little bit flat after qualifying," said Shaffer. "But, he did make some corrections on things we were working on and he was really steady today."
Marx and Mazzaferro were the only Tigers advancing to finals on Saturday as Scott Morgan and Caleb Dunnichay failed to make the top 18 in preliminaries. Morgan finished 24th with a score of 274.35 while Dunnichay was 30th with a 249.85.
"I am disappointed in Scott's and Caleb's performances today," said Shaffer. "They had some strong dives, but they made a few more mistakes than you can make at this level. They have both improved so much this year, but Scott has one more chance tomorrow to put it together and finish with a strong performance."
Morgan will get one more opportunity to qualify as he is slated to compete in Sunday's platform competition. For Dunnichay, who is not competing on the platform, Saturday was his last chance at qualifying for the NCAA meet.