Olympic Medalist Diver Lena Hentschel Set to Join Ohio State this Fall

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The defending Olympic bronze medalist in the 3-meter synchro event, Germany’s Lena Hentschel has made the decision to travel to the Columbus, Ohio this fall to join the Ohio State Buckeye’s diving program.

Hentschel has had a decorated career up to this point, having earned multiple international medals at the junior and senior levels. Last summer, she was a part of just the second German duo to ever medal in the 3-meter synchro at the Olympic Games, earning bronze. That medal was also Germany’s first of the Games. Prior to that performance, she claimed gold in the same event a few months earlier at the 2020 European Aquatics Championships. She also finished second in the event at the 2018 iteration of the meet.

At the 2022 World Championships, Hentschel competed on the 3-meter board both individually and as part of the women’s synchro team. On her own, she finished 12th, while she combined with Tina Punzel to finish 4th in the synchro event.

Hentschel has also had a decorated junior career, having won more than 20 German Junior diving titles in her career. In 2016, she  won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the European Junior Diving Championships.

Despite the Buckeye women winning the 2022 Big-10 Swimming and Diving Conference Championships, the team only managed 69 points across the three diving events and didn’t have any scorers on the 1-meter board. In comparison, runner-up Michigan scored 104 points in the diving events and Indiana scored 245 points. Ohio State was outscored by six of the eleven other team’s in the conference.

When she makes the trip to Columbus this fall, Hentschel will join both of Ohio State’s diving NCAA qualifiers from last season. Last year both rising senior Mackenzie Crawford and rising junior Ciara McGing qualified to compete at NCAAs, although neither scored points for the team. Like Hentschel, McGing has extensive international experience, having represented Ireland at multiple Grand Prix stops and at the 2019 European Junior Championships.

The Ohio State divers are led by head coach Justin Sochor, who took over the program in 2013. In his nine seasons with the team, he has coached five Big Ten Conference champions, one NCAA Champion, and been named the Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year twice.

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