Arizona Tops Events on Day 1 of Wildcat Diving Invitational

On day 1 of the Wilcat Diving Invite, Arizona’s NCAA All-American Rafa Quintero took the mens 1-meter to start off the competition for the men. Teammate Kaitlin Costello won the 3-mete event on the women’s side.

Arizona:

TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona diving concluded a successful day one of the eighth Annual Wildcat Diving Invitational, taking first in both the men and women’s events. Rafael Quintero took first on the men’s 1-meter while Kaitlin Costello earned a first-place finish on the women’s 3-meter.

On the women’s side, totaling 41 divers, Kaitlin Costello got a victory in the 3-meter with a score of 289.10, improving from sixth in the prelims. Costello was followed by teammate Karolyn Loftus, who posted 283.10 after finishing eighth in the prelims. San Diego State’s Makena Chamoures finished third in the event with 280.65. Sally Hackett took fourth (280.35) despite a first-place finish in the prelims.

Recent graduate, Sam Pickens was exhibitioned in the event. Pickens received a total score of 339.95 in the finals, and an event-high score of 373.50 in the prelims.

On the men’s side, including six divers, Rafael Quintero posted an impressive score of 404.85 to take first. Quintero also finished first in the prelims with a score of 384.30. BYU’s Kevin Dreesen placed second in the final with 348.35. After improving from fourth in the prelims, Arizona’s Dominic Ricotta finished third overall with 309.45.

The Wildcat Diving Invitational will continue tomorrow starting at 12 p.m. MST at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, and the action will conclude on Sunday.

For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.

Northern Arizona:

TUCSON, Ariz. – Led by senior Chelsea Jackson and junior Alexa Geiger‘s finals appearances, the Northern Arizona divers started the Wildcat Diving Invitational in a big way on Friday. Jackson finished the 3-meter competition in seventh overall, while Geiger placed nine among five NAU divers who advanced out of the morning preliminaries.

“Overall I thought the team did great all the way around,” said diving coach Nikki Huffman. “Chelsea and Lex made the finals and we had three more in the consolation. It was a great way to start the weekend.”

Jackson and Geiger qualified for the nine-diver championship final with outstanding prelim showings. After the initial round of diving, Jackson sat in fourth with a season-best score of 270.95, while Geiger qualified for the final with the ninth-best prelim score of 247.55. In the finals, Jackson posted a score of 266.75 to finish seventh. Geiger held steady to finish ninth with a score of 239.05.

The two were far from the only standouts for the Lumberjacks on Friday as the team’s two freshmen – Christina Torrente and Raquel Gonzales– were joined by senior Carlye Townsend in the consolation final. Gonzales narrowly missed out on the championship, finishing in the first spot out – behind Geiger – in the preliminaries with a season-best score of 243.95. Townsend and Torrente both advanced to the consolation final with prelim scores of 236.00 and 233.10 respectively. Townsend’s morning score was a season-best for her.

Torrente rose to the occasion in the consolation moving up five spots to 11th overall with her best score of the young season of 246.95. Gonzales wound up in 13th with a score of 242.95, while Townsend was a spot behind in 14th at 238.15.

“(The freshmen) dove consistent and they dove their really big dives,” Huffman said. “They stayed focused on what they’ve been working on and they’re improving every week.”

Sophomores Alyssa Loeffelman and Emma Simmonds also both competed for the Lumberjacks on Friday. Loeffelman placed 26th in the preliminaries with a score of 218.95 and Simmonds finished in 40th with a score of 189.50. Simmonds’ made her season debut after missing early action this season due to an injury.

The Lumberjack divers will continue the Wildcat Diving Invitational at 12 noon on Saturday at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

Swimming news courtesy of Arizona and NAU Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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