Auburn Set to Host NCAA Zone B Diving
March 3, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - More than 80 divers from a six-state region will compete for one of 18 spots in the NCAA Championships this week as Auburn plays host to the NCAA Zone B Diving meet Monday through Wednesday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
Admission is free for all three days of the competition. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday and at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
A total of 10 spots for the women and eight spots for the men are up for grabs as the Zone meet marks the only opportunity for collegiate divers to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Auburn's women will be doubly motivated to earn one of those 10 spots as Auburn plays host to the NCAA Women's Championships March 15-17. The men's NCAA Championships are set for March 22-24 in Federal Way, Wash.
"Hosting this meet gives our divers some confidence in knowing this facility," Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "This is their one chance to get to the NCAA Championships. And when I look at our team, we're very consistent across all three events - 1-meter, 3-meter and platform. It's set up for us to do what we've always done. I've said this over and over again to the divers - they're probably tired of hearing it - but when you minimize mistakes, you maximize your opportunities for success."
"It's our hope that Auburn will come out and support not just the Auburn divers but all the divers competing this week. They're showmen and showwomen, and they really appreciate applause after a good dive."
Auburn will have four women's divers - seniors Vennie Dantin and Anna Aguero and freshmen Shanna Schuelein and Cinzia Calabretta - and four men's divers - senior Adam Godzinski, sophomore John Santeiu, and freshmen Fraser McKean and Michael Beran - in the three-day meet.
On the women's side, Dantin will be one of the favorites as she looks to advance to the NCAA Championships for the third straight year. Last year, Dantin punched her ticket to nationals on the first day with a runner-up finish on the 1-meter board, scoring 677.75 over a 12-dive list. Aguero will seek her second NCAA appearance in three years after barely missing a spot last season. Calabretta and Schuelein will look for season-best performances as well.
"Vennie had a great SEC run," Shaffer said. "She won the 1-meter and was second on tower. I feel very strongly that her consistency will get her to the NCAA Championships. Anna has battled some injuries this year, but she's coming on strong and has an excellent chance if she dives consistently. Our two freshmen have made great strides in their development this year, and in the Zone meet, anything can happen.
For the Auburn men, Santeiu is also seeking redemption after falling one place short of qualifying in the platform event last year, finishing fourth. Godzinski aims to make the most of his final Zone meet, and McKean and Beran have steadily improved all season and hope for their best showing of the year.
"John also had a great SEC Championship," Shaffer said. "Fraser is a freshman that has done a great job for us. The men's meet is going to be a little bit tougher. There's only eight spots, but both of them have an opportunity, if they do their job and focus on what they can do, they have a great opportunity to post a good score. Adam is a senior who has been there; it just comes down to minimizing mistakes. And Michael is looking for the experience and building on what he's done this year."
Women's 1-meter preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. Monday with finals to follow, and the men's 3-meter event will get underway at 3:30 p.m. On Tuesday, the groups will switch places with men's 1-meter in the morning and women's 3-meter in the afternoon. The platform diving events will take place Wednesday with the men's event beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the women set for a 3:30 p.m. start.
Live scoring for the meet will be available through divemeets.com. Periodic updates will also be available via Twitter by following @AuburnSwimming, and full recaps of each day's action will follow on AuburnTigers.com.
NCAA ZONE B DIVING - SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, March 5
Tuesday, March 6
Wednesday, March 7
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