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
Though Texas is up against the NCAA roster cap of 18, Windle and Campell should make the trip to Indianapolis for nationals. Windle was 4th last year (and is the top returner in the field) and Campbell was 7th. Each diver counts as one-half a roster spot, so Windle and Campbell together would only bump one of Texas’s likely 24 qualifying swimmers.
Freshman Andrew Harness also qualified for NCAAs with a 7th-place showing. Harness is one of a handful of Texas divers battling for a roster spot. Jacob Cornish was 9th at NCAAs on platform last year, and would be the likely next diver Texas would bring, though Harness could perhaps be a three-board diver and did beat Cornish today. (Cornish was 10th and not qualified for NCAAs yet, but could contest the event if he qualifies on platform later in the week). The others in the mix are platform specialist Reed Merritt (who didn’t compete on 3-meter today) and sophomore Andrew Gawin-Parigini, whose roster hopes took a hit today with a 15th-place finish that would leave him unable to compete on 3-meter at NCAAs, even if he gets an invite on another board.
But enough about Texas. Let’s talk more about Texas… A&M. The Aggies qualified two divers today: 2019 NCAA scorer Kurtis Mathews was 3rd, and actually led Windle and Campbell for a bit. Freshman Victor Povzner is also in, and a 4th-place finish here suggests he could be a scorer at NCAAs.
LSU freshman Emanuel Vazquez is another freshman qualifier from a traditional diving power.
On the women’s side, Minnesota sophomore (and NCAA newcomer) Joy Zhu won on 1-meter by almost 24 points over last year’s NCAA third-placer Alison Gibson of Texas. Gibson is the top returner from last year’s NCAA final, so Zhu’s win suggests she’ll be a high scorer come NCAAs for a Minnesota team that had its diving corps cleared out by Olympic redshirts.
Gibson was second, one of three Texas women to earn an NCAA invite today. Paola Pineda (4th) and Morgan Menninger (8th) will join her.
Kansas freshman Jiayu Chen, the Big 12 runner-up behind Gibson, was third.
It was a great day for Texas A&M, too, with three NCAA invitees. Charlye Campbell was 19th at NCAAs last year as a sophomore and should fight to score after taking 5th today.
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.