TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona’s men’s and women’s diving teams will compete in the NCAA Diving Zone E Championships beginning Thursday, March 13 and continuing through Saturday, March 15 in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Natatorium.
In the meet, the divers will attempt to qualify for the men’s and women’s respective NCAA Championships, taking place in Minneapolis, Minn. (women) and Austin, Texas (men) beginning on March 20. Live results of the Zone E Championships will be available at DiveMeets.com.
On the men’s side, sophomore Rafael Quintero, will look to punch his second straight ticket to the NCAA Championships. Junior Carter Craft will also look to qualify for his first NCAA Championship. Meanwhile, Dominic Ricotta will also compete in all three diving events and is looking for his first NCAA Championship appearance.
Last season, Quintero qualified for the Cats on the men’s side, while Samantha Pickens earned a spot on the women’s side.
There are five Zone meets around the country. Each Zone is allotted a different number of qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships, with Zone E receiving eight qualifying spots on the men’s side and eight on the women’s side.
The top 18 finishers in the prelims advance to the championship rounds, from which the divers qualify for the NCAA Championships. There is a unique matrix utilized to divvy up the nine qualifying spots among the three competitions.
However, if a competitor places highly among multiple events at his or her Zone meet, he or she will not account for more than one of the nine qualifying slots allotted to his or her gender. So divers that place just below the automatic qualifying spots still receive NCAA berths in some instances.
Once a competitor qualifies for the NCAA Championships in any of the three diving events, he or she is permitted to compete on all three boards at NCAAs. However, divers must continue to compete in every event at their Zone meet even if they qualify for NCAAs on the first day of Zones.
The NCAA Championships begin on March 20 with the women’s meet and the men’s meet will follow beginning on March 27. The women’s meet will be held in Minneapolis, Minn. with the men’s meet taking place in Austin, Texas.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.