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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Diving duo heads to championships

Matt Unger | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Throughout the season, the Irish diving duo of freshman Allison Casareto and junior Jenny Chiang has placed near or at the top of meets. They will look to extend their success — and seasons — at the NCAA Zone Diving championship when each will compete in the one-meter dive Thursday and the three-meter dive Friday.

“It’s extremely difficult to make NCAAs, especially as a diver in this particular zone because it’s the most difficult zone in the nation,” Casareto said. “I’m really excited to just see the competition out there and just look at everyone else and watch what they do to be inspired and motivated.”

Competition at the zone meet includes Big East champion Louisville along with Michigan, Indiana and Purdue.

Casareto said the unusual length of the event could pose a challenge to the pair.

“I also have to maintain focus and make sure I last the whole three-hour meet,” Casareto said. “It’s not only a meet of mentality, but also of physical endurance, which is rare for diving.”

Yet, both divers have a strong chance to become the first Irish diver since Natalie Stitt in 2009 to advance to the NCAA championships, especially after their recent performances at the Big East championships.

Chiang earned the Big East title in the three-meter dive for the third consecutive year, and placed third in the one-meter. Meanwhile, Casareto placed second in the three-meter and earned All-Big East honors.

“For me to be able to go to this meet and to be able to qualify and include myself in this group of divers is such a privilege,” Casareto said. “I’m trying to make the most I possibly can out of it.”

The top seven finishers in each dive advance to the NCAA Swimming and Diving championships in Auburn, Ala., next weekend.


Contact Matt Unger atmunger3@nd.edu