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.
2018 NCAA ZONE DIVING
- Zones A, B, D, E: Monday, March 5 – Wednesday, March 7
- Zone C: Thursday, March 8 – Saturday, March 10
- Host schools:
- Zone A: Rutgers University
- Zone B: University of Tennessee
- Zone C: Ohio State University
- Zone D: University of Minnesota
- Zone E: Northern Arizona University
- NCAA selection primer
The NC State men qualified one diver, while the Tennessee men qualified a pair on day 1 of the Zone B Championships.
Tennessee’s Colin Zeng won the 3-meter event, booking his trip to NCAAs for his new team. Zeng was a former NCAA champ for Ohio State but transferred to Knoxville this season. He’ll be joined by Liam Stone, who qualified for NCAAs with a 3rd-place finish.
NC State’s men got a diving qualifier with James Brady taking 4th on 3-meter. He’s locked in, as is Pete Turnham of Auburn.
On the women’s side, South Carolina’s Julia Vincent won on 1-meter. Tennessee also got in one diver in Rachel Rubadue, as did potential top-10 teams Auburn (Alison Maillard) and Georgia (Olivia Ball).
Here’s a look at the current qualifying chart:
Athletes in bold have earned NCAA reimbursement.
|1||3-meter Champ||Colin Zeng, TENN|
|2||1-meter Champ||Julia Vincent, SCAR|
|4||3-meter 2nd||Gregory Duncan, UNC|
|5||1-meter 2nd||Wallace Layland, MIA|
|7||3-meter 3rd||Liam Stone, TENN|
|8||1-meter 3rd||Ayla Bonniwell, FSU|
|10||3-meter 4th||James Brady, NCSU|
|11||1-meter 4th||Rachel Rubadue, TENN|
|13||3-meter 5th||Pete Turnham, AUB|
|14||1-meter 5th||Alison Maillard, AUB|
|16||3-meter 6th||Joshua Davidson, FSU|
|17||1-meter 6th||Olivia Ball, UGA||—|
|20||1-meter 7th||Carolyn Chaney, MIA||—|
NCAA Diving QUALIFYING PROCEDURES
There are five zone meets spread across the country that allow divers to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Based on performances at the previous NCAAs each zone earns a set number of qualifying spots.
Take a look at the qualifying spots for each zone and each event:
A priority chart determines who gets the reimbursement spots. The first priority spot is taken by the winner of each event beginning with the 3-meter champ, followed by the 1-meter champ and then the platform champ. If an athlete wins two events, they will still only take up one slot which means the NCAA will keep adding rows to this chart until the zone meet reimbursement quota is met.
According to the rules set in 2015 that allowed more divers into the meet, any diver who lands in the qualifying spots for their zone earns a spot to compete in the NCAA Championships. If the diver earns eligibility in one event, they can automatically compete in any of the other two events at NCAAs as long as they finished in the top 12 in their zone in that event.
The NCAA made a distinction between “eligible” and “reimbursed” athletes. Divers qualifying outside of the reimbursement spots will not have their travel, lodging, or meet expenses covered by the NCAA. Instead the individual school must decide if they’re willing to pay the bill themselves to give that diver an opportunity to participate in the NCAA Championships.