Irish to send divers to Columbus for final chance to qualify for NCAAs
Benjamin Padanilam | Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Notre Dame will send its divers to Columbus, Ohio, at the end of spring break to compete in the NCAA Zone C Diving meet from March 12-14.
The Irish will be competing in the Zone C Diving meet with the hopes of qualifying as many divers as possible for the NCAA Championships, which are set for March 19-21. The zones are separated by region throughout the country, and as a result, the Irish will be facing several Big Ten programs in the meet. Senior Allison Casareto said she believes this will provide the team with a challenge, as the Big Ten has six teams ranked in the top 25.
“It is a really hard zone,” Casareto said. “The Big Ten is a really great conference.”
Despite this challenge, recent changes in the format of the zone meets do provide greater opportunities for advancing to divers. These changes have increased the number of divers from each event who advance to the NCAA Championships.
“Now it’s [the] top eight [divers] on every board [that advance],” Casareto said. “It used to be around top three or four on every board. Technically, it looks easier, but it is still a tough zone [to compete in].”
In addition, the new rules change the way in which a diver qualifies to compete in specific events at the NCAA Championships.
“One more thing that they switched was that you don’t automatically qualify to compete in all three events [in the championships] if you qualify on one board,” Casareto said. “So you have to qualify in each individual event if you want to compete in all three events at the championships.”
Having prepared throughout the season, the Irish have begun the process of tapering, or reducing the strain of their exercises, with the hope of resting up just prior to the championship stretch, the senior from La Habra Heights, California, said.
“Some divers believe in tapering, and some divers don’t,” Casareto said. “Here at Notre Dame, we go a little lighter in the weight room, and we cut down on repetition in the pool. So right now, we’re still working on maintaining a low-repetition workout in the water and just focusing on our technique. That helps get us focused for the meet.”
While the goal for the team is to qualify as many divers as possible for the NCAA Championships, the Irish also realize it could be the last meet for many of the seniors on the team, Casareto said.
“This meet is crazy because it could be the last meet of my entire diving career, but it also could not be my last meet,” Casareto said. “There’s a lot of mixed feelings, lot of mixed emotions, but it’s also really exciting because I get to see all of the people that I’ve always seen the last four years one last time.”
The Irish will continue to practice for the remainder of this week before heading to Columbus, Ohio, for the meet next week. The three-day event begins March 12 at 1 p.m.