Though we’re not DiveDove, we do dabble in diving coverage, and as diving can have a major impact on the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, we cover NCAA Zone Diving – mainly through the lens of how national diving qualifiers could impact the team points battles later this month.
2021 NCAA Zone Diving
- Zone A: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC
- Zone B: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC
- Zone C: University of Kentucky / Lexington, KY
- Zone D: University of Kentucky / Lexington, KY
- Zone E: Northern Arizona University / Flagstaff, AZ
We’re only one event in, but the Texas Longhorns already have three men and three women qualified to dive at NCAAs.
Standout Jordan Windle won the 3-meter event easily, besting LSU’s Juan Hernandez by 22 points. Texas also got freshman Noah Duperre (third) and sophomore Andrew Harness (fourth) into NCAAs. That’s going to continue to force tough decisions, as the Longhorns are up against the 18-person NCAA roster cap.
Texas already cut eight qualifying swimmers, including three projected NCAA scorers, to get down to 18. But that doesn’t include divers, who also count against the cap. (Two divers make up one roster spot, given that divers cannot compete on relays).
Windle is a lock to make the roster, as a likely NCAA champ on at least one board if not multiple. Blue chip recruit Duperre should also be locked in, with those two shaving one more swimmer off the bottom of the NCAA roster. If Texas decides to bring Harness, they’ll have to cut another swimmer.
That might come down to whether Texas has a fourth diver qualify. Freshman Brendan McCourt missed today’s invite line by one single spot, but if he qualifies in a different event, he could still compete on 3-meter at NCAAs. Andrew Gawin-Parigini also competed today, but was just 16th.
On the women’s side, Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon won the 1-meter board easily, smashing the field by almost 100 points. Bacon was the NCAA champ on 1-meter in 2019. She sat out on a redshirt last year, and didn’t compete on 1-meter at Big Tens last month, but appears completely back to speed with her dominating performance today.
Texas also qualified three women to dive at NCAAs today. Paola Pineda was second on 1-meter, with Bridget O’Neil fifth and Jordan Skilken sneaking in a late transfer spot in ninth.
A few other teams that should benefit from solid diving groups already qualified: Minnesota (two women and one man qualified), Texas A&M (two women qualified), LSU (one woman and one manqualified), and SMU (two men qualified).
Reimbursed divers are in bold, with invited-but-not-reimbursed divers in non-bold. You can read more about the distinction below.
|Sarah Bacon, Minnesota||1m|
|Paola Pineda, Texas||1m|
|Aimee Wilson, Texas A&M||1m|
|Brooke Schultz, Air Force||1m|
|Bridget O’Neil, Texas||1m|
|Charlye Campbell, Texas A&M||1m|
|Montserrat Lavenant, LSU||1m|
|Megan Phillip, Minnesota||1m|
|Jordan Skilken, Texas||1m|
|Sara Troyer, Arkansas||1m|
|Jordan Windle, Texas||3m|
|Juan Hernandez, LSU||3m|
|Noah Duperre, Texas||3m|
|Andrew Harness, Texas||3m|
|Jake Butler, Minnesota||3m|
|Parker Hardigree, SMU||3m|
|Peter Smithson, SMU||3m|
|Tazman Abramowicz, Wisconsin||3m|
|Carlo Lopez, Missouri||3m|
SIMPLIFIED INVITE PROCEDURES
You can read a more in-depth look at the selection process here. Effectively, each Zone earns a specific number of qualifying spots in each event, based on how that Zone performed at NCAAs last year. Divers who place inside the qualifying places earn an NCAA invite. A diver invited in one event can compete at NCAAs in any other diving event where they were top 12 in their Zone meet. The highest-placing divers earn NCAA reimbursement, while lower-placing qualifiers can compete at NCAAs, but their school must pay for their travel and lodging at the meet.