March 16, 2008
NCAA Zone B Diving - Meet Central
AUBURN - Auburn's Kelly Marx officially qualified for the NCAA Championships Sunday at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala., joining fellow diver Dan Mazzaferro on the 17-member squad.
Hosted by Auburn University, the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships was a three-day meet, bringing together the top divers from 25 colleges and universities from the southeastern United States. Sunday's competitions included the men's and women's platform diving.
Marx qualified for the NCAA meet through his fifth-place finish in Saturday's 3-meter springboard competition. While he did not finish high enough for it to be an automatic qualification at the time, he had to wait for the final event to take place the selection process to run its course.
"I knew after yesterday's 1-meter contest that he had put himself in a position to qualify, but I also knew that if he needed to, he would step up and do a great job on tower," said head coach Jeff Shaffer. "We can use his experience to really be ready to compete right from dive one at the NCAA Championships and put ourselves in a position to be in all three finals."
While Marx was happy to qualify for the NCAA Championships, he felt he did not have his best weekend and is looking forward to stepping it up at the NCAA meet.
"This is one of the hardest zones out there, so to battle here and qualify here, it's great," said Marx. "All-around, I would say it was an off-weekend for me. I would have liked to have come out strong and qualified the first day, but it doesn't always work out your way. But, overall, I was pretty happy with my performance. "
In Sunday's platform competitions, it was Miami leading the way at the top of the standings. Brittany Viola won the women's platform with a combined score of 702,50, 367.20 in prelims and 335.30 in finals. In the men's competition, it was Miami's J.J. Kinzbach beating out teammate Reuben Ross for the platform title. Kinzbach scored an 857.30, 429.25 in prelims and 398.60 in finals, to top Ross' 796.70, 398.10 in prelims and 398.60 in finals.
Finishing behind Miami's Viola in the women's platform competition was North Carolina State's Kristin Davies in second with a score of 584.20. Following her was Georgia Tech's Stephanie England (556.90) in third and Florida State's Aleia Monden (534.25) in fourth. LSU's Paige Brown rounded out the top five with a score of 515.55.
In the men's platform competition, it was Auburn's Mazzaferro finishing in third with a score of 779.05, followed by Alabama's Aaron Fleshner in fourth with a 746.00. LSU's Michael Neubacher rounded out the top five with a score of 741.10.
Marx finished sixth with a score of 737.50, 347.35 in prelims and 390.15 in finals. Also competing for Auburn was Scott Morgan as he finished 15th overall with a score of 562.75 (295.60 in prelims, 267.15 in finals). Morgan's 295.60 in his first list of dives sets a new personal-best on the platform.
"Scott has made great progress in his three years at Auburn and he continues to work hard," said Shaffer. "There are a couple areas that he is going to have to work on over the summer and in the fall and just be a little more aggressive in meet situations."
The zone diving competitions are used as selection meets for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with the top 12 women and top 10 men from the weekend's events will advance to the 2008 NCAA meet. 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.
Earning the 12 qualifying spots for the women were Brittany Viola (Miami), Hannah Moore (Georgia), Taryn Zack (South Carolina), Lauren Leroy (Tennessee), Kristen Davies (North Carolina State), Kari Retrum (Kentucky), Stephanie England (Georgia Tech), Rachel Ware (LSU), Jeana Bartell (Florida), Hannah Krimm (Georgia Tech), Aleia Monden (Florida State) and Monica Dodson (Florida).
The women's alternates are Lauren Dunn of Alabama and Paige Brown of LSU.
Earning the 10 qualifying spots for the men were J.J. Kinzbach (Miami), Chris Colwill (Georgia), Reuban Ross (Miami), Dan Mazzferro (Auburn), Terry Horner (Florida State), Stephen Andrews (Kentucky), Aaron Fleshner (Alabama), Kelly Marx (Auburn), Michael McDonald (Virginia Tech) and Ryan Funderburk (North Carolina).
The men's alternates are Niko Dalmon and Michael Neubacher, both of LSU.
With the NCAA Zone Diving competition over, Shaffer and his divers now turn their attention to training for the NCAA Championships, March 27-29 in Federal Way, Wash.
"Dan and Kelly have had a great year, and now we are looking forward to the NCAA Championships and contributing as many points as we can to the men's chase for a sixth-consecutive team title," said Shaffer.
2008 NCAA Qualifiers from NCAA Zone B Diving in Auburn, Ala.
1 - J.J. Kinzbach - Miami - SR - (1st, platform)
2 - Chris Colwill - Georgia - SR - (1st, 3 meter)
3 - Reuban Ross - Miami - SO - (2nd 3-meter)
4 - Daniel Mazzferro - Auburn - SO - (3rd, 3-meter)
5 - Terry Horner - Florida State - SO - (3rd, 1-meter)
6 - Stephen Andrews - Kentucky - FR - (4th, 1-meter)
7 - Aaron Fleshner - Alabama - SO - (5th, 3-meter)
8 - Kelly Marx - Auburn - SO - (5th, 1-meter)
9 - Michael McDonald - Virginia Tech - SO - (6th, 1-meter)
10 - Ryan Funderburk - North Carolina - SR - (10th, 1-meter)
First Alternate - Niko Dalmon - LSU - SR - (7th, 1-meter)
Second Alternate - Michael Neubacher - LSU - FR - (5th, platform)
1 - Brittany Viola - Miami - SO - (1st, platform)
2 - Hannah Moore - Georgia - FR - (1st, 3-meter)
3 - Taryn Zack - South Carolina - FR - (1st, 1-meter)
4 - Lauren Leroy - Tennessee - SR - (2nd, 3-meter)
5 - Kristen Davies - North Carolina State - JR - (2nd, platform)
6 - Kari Retrum - Kentucky - SR - (4th, 3-meter)
7 - Stephanie England - Georgia Tech - SR - (3rd, platform)
8 - Rachel Ware - LSU - SO - (5th, 1-meter)
9 - Jeana Bartell - Florida - JR - (6th, 3-meter)
10 - Hannah Krimm - Georgia Tech - SO - (6th, 1-meter)
11 - Aleia Monden - Florida State - SO - (4th, platform)
12 - Monica Dodson - Florida - FR - (7th, 3-meter)
First Alternate - Lauren Dunn - Alabama - FR - (8th, 3-meter)
Second Alternate - Paige Brown - LSU - SR - (5th, platform)