The women of Stanford, among the favorites to compete for the NCAA title next week, got a diving boost Tuesday, qualifying 3 divers for the national championships.
Gracia Leydon-Mahoney took 4th, Alex Clay 9th and Lillian Hinrichs 10th on the 3-meter board to all earn NCAA berths out of Zone E. Leydon-Mahoney is now guaranteed NCAA reimbursement status as well.*
*Read up on the full NCAA selection procedures below.
That’s a big boost to Stanford, which is expected to compete with Georgia, Cal and perhaps USC for the NCAA title. Each of those three teams only has a single diving qualifier at this point compared to 3 for Stanford.
The Stanford men also added a third diver after qualifying two on opening day. Connor Kuremsky is in, and Bradley Christensen put up his second-straight 4th-place finish to double up on qualifying spots.
Arizona’s Rafael Quintero won the men’s 1-meter, while Sharae Zheng took the women’s 3-meter for Nevada. Nevada has now won both women’s events and has two divers qualified for NCAAs.
The full qualifying list is below. 10 women and 6 men will earn NCAA reimbursement, while the rest of the qualifiers are eligible to compete at NCAAs on their school’s dime.
|1||3-meter Champ||Sharae Zheng, NEV||Jacob Crayne, UTAH|
|2||1-meter Champ||Krysta Palmer, NEV||Rafael Quintero, AZ|
|4||3-meter 2nd||Maria Polyakova, UCLA||Josiah Purss, UTAH|
|8||1-meter 3rd||Collin Pollard, USC|
|10||3-meter 4th||Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, STAN||Bradley Christensen, STAN|
|11||1-meter 4th||Eloise Belanger, UCLA|
|13||3-meter 5th||Tarek Abdelghany, STAN|
|14||1-meter 5th||Deon Reid, USC|
|16||3-meter 6th||Aimee Harrison, HAW||—|
|17||1-meter 6th||Connor Kuremsky, STAN|
|19||3-meter 7th||Sally Hackett, AZ||—|
|20||1-meter 7th||Kevin Dreesen, BYU|
|22||3-meter 8th||Madison Witt, USC||—|
|23||1-meter 8th||Dashiell Enos, USC|
|25||3-meter 9th||Alexandra Clay, STAN||—|
|28||3-meter 10th||Lillian Hinrichs, STAN||—|
|31||3-meter 11th||Anne Kastler, CAL||—|
(Athletes in bold are locked in for NCAA reimbursement. Athletes who have doubled up on qualifying spots are noted
with a line through their lower priority slot.)
NCAA ZONE QUALIFYING PROCEDURES
From our refresher post, which you can find here.
Divers qualify for the NCAA Championships through Zone Meets spread across the country. Each zone earns a set number of NCAA qualifying spots based on the performances of that Zone at NCAAs in the past.
Here are the qualifying spots for each event in each zone:
Any diver who finishes within the qualifying spots for their zone earns eligibility for the NCAA Championships. Any diver who earns eligibility in one event can compete in any of the other two events at NCAAs, provided they finished inside the top 12 in their zone in that event.
The final wrinkle is a new rule from last season that makes a distinction between “eligible” athletes and “reimbursed” athletes. The NCAA loosened its rules last season to allow more divers into the meet, but divers qualifying under the new rules do not recieve reimbursement from the NCAA for their travel, lodging and meet expenses – that means it’s up to the individual school to decide if they will foot the bill themselves to allow the diver to compete at NCAAs.
Each zone has a set number of reimbursement spots between the three events combined:
The spots are determined by a priority chart. The winners of each event have first priority, starting with the 3-meter champ, then the 1-meter champ, then the platform champ. After that, the runners-up are added in the same order. If an athlete wins both 1-meter and 3-meter, they still only take one reimbursement slot, meaning the NCAA will keep adding rows of this chart until the reimbursement quota for that zone is met.