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.
2020 NCAA ZONE DIVING
- Zones A, B, D, E: Monday, March 9 – Wednesday, March 13
- Zone C: Thursday, March 12 – Saturday, March 14
- Host schools, with live result links:
- Revisit our NCAA selection primer
Jordan Windle won his second-straight event in Zone D, and the Texas men have tough decisions looming with five divers now invited to NCAAs.
Windle was already in, but his dominating 46-point win on 1-meter today has to be a good sign. The junior is a returning A finalist on all three boards from 2019 NCAAs, but this season has a chance to sweep all three diving titles. He’s the two-time defending platform champ, the top returner on 1-meter, and the 3rd overall returner on 3-meter.
His teammate Grayson Campbell was 4th today, adding a second NCAA event. Meanwhile Jacob Cornish made his NCAA invite official today, taking 6th on 1-meter. Cornish was a platform scorer last year and a 1-meter scorer back in 2018 at NCAAs. Freshman Andrew Harness was 7th to add a second event to his NCAA entries, and sophomore Andrew Gawin-Parigini made an invite as the 9th-place finisher today.
With divers counting as half a roster spot, Texas will probably take four to NCAAs, allowing them 16 swimmers still under the NCAA 18-man roster cap. Windle and Campbell are relative locks. Cornish is a returning scorer, and a very likely choice. Harness and Gawin-Parigini are probably battling for the final spot, but Harness would appear to be the clear leader after beating Gawin-Parigini on both springboards. There’s an outside chance Texas takes six divers if Reed Merritt qualifies on platform tomorrow, but it’s more likely we’ll see Texas pick either Harness or Merritt as their final entrant, based on tomorrow’s results.
Texas A&M’s Kurtis Mathews and Victor Povzner both performed well for a second day, and both have two NCAA events now. Minnesota got two new qualifiers today: Jake Butler (5th) and Duncan Lester (8th).
Texas’s Alison Gibson is a returning NCAA A finalist on 3-meter, and she won the Zone title by four points over LSU’s Aimee Wilson. With 13 invites going out in Zone D in this event, there were a lot of repeat qualifiers from yesterday, but most of the top names will add the event as their second entry at NCAAs. That includes Minnesota’s Joy Zhu and Jaclynn Fowler, Texas’s Gibson, Paola Pineda and Morgan Menninger, LSU’s Wilson, Kansas’s Jiayu Chen and Texas A&M’s Charlye Campbell.
Among the new qualifiers: Nebraska’s Sara Troyer, who was 4th overall in this event. Iowa’s Samantha Tamborski also qualified – she was 19th in this event at NCAAs last year and could project as a scorer with graduations factored out.
Texas (Jordan Skilken) and Minnesota (Jae Sarkis) each added another new diver, bringing Texas to 4 women’s qualifiers and Minnesota to 3.
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.