Three divers qualify for NCAA Championships
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Notre Dame competed in the Zone C NCAA qualifier meet in West Lafayette, Indiana, this past week and saw three divers from the women’s squad qualify for the NCAA championships.
Both the men and women entered competitors in the one-meter, three-meter and platform events. In each event, the top 18 finishers in the preliminary round advanced to the finals, with their scores carrying over, and had the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA championships, which will be held in Atlanta this weekend and next.
On Thursday, the women’s one-meter and men’s three-meter events were held. The women’s side put forth a strong showing, with seniors Lindsey Streepey and Emma Gaboury earning automatic bids to compete in the event at the NCAA championships, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Although Gaboury sat just outside qualification in 13th place after the preliminary round, both she and Streepey had improved to be within the automatic qualifying placements by the end of the round, as Streepey’s final dives improved her placement from eighth to sixth. Gaboury surged from 13th to seventh place with her final dives. For the men’s team, junior James Lichtenstein just missed out on advancing into the finals in the men’s three-meter competition, finishing 19th.
The next day, the women’s squad made program history by qualifying a third diver for the NCAA championships. Gaboury and sophomore Annie Crea both earned automatic bids in the three-meter competition. Following the morning preliminary round where she placed eighth, Gaboury improved to fourth place in the afternoon final round, while Crea, who was 17th after the morning, capped off the day with an impressive showing, jumping to sixth place to earn her spot in the championships.
The meet concluded Saturday, with both teams competing in the platform event. On the men’s side, Lichtenstein broke the school record in the event. As the only entrant for the Irish, Lichtenstein stood in ninth place after the preliminary round with a score of 305.90 and advanced to the finals, where he stayed in ninth place but improved his overall score to a total of 603.05. Both dives surpassed Nick Nemetz’s previous school record tally of 294.25, scored at the 2014 Iowa Hawkeye Invitational meet. However, Lichtenstein just missed the automatic qualifying mark, as only the top eight finishers advanced to the NCAA championships. On the women’s side, Crea and Gaboury failed to advance to the finals by placing 19th and 20th, respectively, while Streepey advanced to the finals but did not qualify for the championship in the event, due to her 13th-place finish.
Crea, Gaboury and Streepey will compete in the NCAA Championships starting on Thursday at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center.