Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Diving Heads to NCAA Zone Championships

Kersten Merry narrowly missed a podium finish in the 1-meter at the Pac-12 Championships.

Kersten Merry narrowly missed a podium finish in the 1-meter at the Pac-12 Championships.

March 12, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - As the Utah swimming and diving season winds down, the Ute divers head to one final competition looking to qualify for the NCAA Diving Championships. The Utes will hit the water in Colorado Springs, Colo., to take part in the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships at Cadet Natatorium March 14-16 

Divers from 15 different schools will participate on the women's side, while 11 men's diving teams will be in attendance. Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA, USC and Stanford will represent the Pac-12 Conference.

Live results will be available at divemeets.com.

There will be eight qualifying spots to the NCAA Championships up for grabs in Zone E on the men's side and nine on the women's side.

The top 18 finishers in the prelims will move on to the finals where they will have a chance qualify for the NCAA Championships. A unique formula is used to divide the available spots among the three competitions.

A student-athlete may not hold more than one of the qualifying slots so it is possible that athletes who do not quite meet the automatic qualifier requirements still have a chance to receive NCAA bids.

Once a competitor qualifies for the NCAA Championships in any of the three diving events, he or she is permitted to compete on all three boards at NCAAs.

The NCAA Championships begin on March 21 with the women's meet and the men's meet will follow beginning on March 28. Both meets will be contested in Indianapolis, Ind.

Pac-12 Men's Championships

The Utah men's swimming and diving team competed at the Pac-12 Championships March 3-6 in Federal Way, Wash. The Utes shattered multiple school records on their way to a fifth-place finish.

Utah collected 290.5 points to surpass Arizona State (257), UC Santa Barbara (230) and Cal Poly (112).

Cal earned the Pac-12 title for the first time since 1981 (825), while Stanford (800), USC (638.5) and Arizona (483) rounded out the top four.



Kristian Kron and Nick Soedel led the Utes as both athletes recorded three individual school records during the championships. Kron now holds Utah all-time titles in the 200 IM (1:46.16), 400 IM (3:48.01) and 200 back (1:42.96).

Soedel contributed two individual records during relay events, leading off the 800 free relay with a time of 1:35.80 and the 400 free relay in 42.83 seconds.

While grabbing a Utah school record in the 50 free (19.62), Soedel took third and achieved the Utes' first-ever podium finish at the conference meet.

Soedel, Bjorn Gunnarsson, Alex Fernandes and Kron teamed up for the Utah school record in the 400 free relay (2:54.32), as Soedel Bence Kira'ly, Jonas Holmstroem and Kron took credit for the latest 800 free record (6:26.06).

Pac-12 Women's Championships

Utah women's swimming and diving summed up its performance at the Pac-12 Championships on March 2, taking seventh place with 347 points.

Stanford slimly pulled off the Pac-12 Championship victory with 1439.5 points, while Cal took the runner-up spot with 1418.5 points. Cal (1333.5), Arizona 1128.5), Cal (998.5) and Arizona State (786.5) rounded out the top six.

Utah came out ahead of Oregon State (297) and Washington State (189).

Junior Nicole Ligeza led the Utes, recording three NCAA `B' qualifying times over the four-day competition. She also touched in 2:14.55 in the 200 breast to claim a Utah school record.

Traycie Swartz recorded two individual NCAA `B' qualifying times in the 100 back (54.11) and the 50 free (22.81).

Freshman Petra Soininen also grabbed a `B' qualifying time in the 100 fly (54.13).

Kersten Merry was solid on the boards for the Utes as she took fifth on the platform (255.15) and fourth on the 1-meter (196.45).

Next Time Out

Several Utah men achieved NCAA `B' cut times at the Pac-12 Championships, but their fates of lie in the hands of the NCAA selection committee because who makes the cut is up to their discretion. The NCAA Men's Championships will be held March 28-30 in Indianapolis, Ind.

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