Arkansas divers will compete at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships March 7-9 at Texas A&M’s Student Recreation Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas.
The NCAA Zone D Championships is one of five meets across the nation, serving as a qualifier for the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships March 16-19 at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta. Arkansas will be represented by seniors Shelby Bartlett and Hannah Bortnick, junior Nicole Gillis and freshman Molly Harvie.
The top five divers from each event at their respective zone diving meet will be eligible to compete at the NCAA championships. Additional place finishers in each event at each zone will be eligible based on the number of student-athletes from that zone who finished in the top 16 in that event at the previous year’s NCAA championships. All eligible divers must have achieved the zone qualifying score prior to the NCAA championships in all events they wish to participate.
“We are always looking to make an impact at the NCAA Championships, and Zones is that major step for our divers,” Arkansas diving coach Jeff DiNicola said. “It’s great to have four divers set to compete at this meet. That is something we expect at Arkansas. I’m happy that Shelby, Hannah and Nicole will be returning to Zones and have the past experience, setting themselves up to be more successful.”
The meet will also feature Division I divers from Arkansas-Little Rock, Houston, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, SMU, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas, Tulane and Wisconsin.
Monday’s competition will feature the one-meter springboard, the three-meter springboard will follow Tuesday and the week will conclude Wednesday with the platform. All events are slated to begin at 11 a.m. each day.
Live results from the meet can be found at DiveMeets.com.
Arkansas divers enter the meet after record-setting performances this season. On the Razorbacks’ senior day against Illinois, Bartlett (three-meter: 336.45; one-meter: 301.05), Bortnick (three-meter: 329.33; one-meter 304.58), Gillis (three-meter: 329.70; one-meter: 304.28) and Harvie (three-meter: 310.58; one-meter: 271.20) each achieved personal-best scores on both the three-meter and one-meter springboards.
At the 2016 SEC Championships Feb. 16-20, Gillis bettered her personal-best mark on the one-meter springboard, scoring 310.00 points en route to a fifth-place overall finish. Bortnick scored 276.45 points on the three-meter springboard in preliminaries, placing 23rd – a career-best finish at SECs.
Just four days ago, two Arkansas swimmers and two relay teams received invitations to the NCAA Championships. Seniors Anna Mayfield and Maddie Monroe are among 281 Division I swimmers invited to participate in individual events. Both swimmers will also contribute to the Razorbacks’ relay teams – the 400 and 800-yard freestyle.
-Courtesy of Arkansas Razorbacks