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Naylor, Clark lead Razorbacks on day one at Zones

Athletic Communications
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HOUSTON, Texas –  Junior diver Kesha Naylor and sophomore Meghan Clark led the University of Arkansas diving corps on the first day of the NCAA Zone Diving competition.  Naylor mounted a huge comeback, jumping from 39th-place to 9th-place, while Clark put together a consistent performance across the board, as both divers advanced to the finals.

Freshmen Shelby Bartlett and Hannah Bortnick also stepped up to the plate recording scores of 248.70 and 238.00 respectively.

“Naylor missed the first two dives and she just couldn’t come back fully from that,” head diving coach Dale Schultz said. “As far as Meghan Clark, I couldn’t be happier with her performance. She dove with the big girls and she has been battling food poisoning all day. For her to dive as well as she did after lying in bed all day is incredible.”

After a slow start, Naylor stepped up and nailed her reverse two and a half pike for her second-biggest score of the evening prelims (55.50). With the monster dive, Naylor launched herself up seven spots in the ranks to 32nd. Naylor wasn’t finished there as she recorded three more 50-point outings for her remaining dives. Her biggest pickup of the night came after a tremendous back two and a half pike earned her a 58.5, moving her up to 16th. Naylor would close out the prelims with a 53.2, finishing 13th overall, and completing a comeback that moved her up 26 spots after round two.

Clark on the other hand put together a consistent performance that seemed to get better as the competition went on. Clark notched two 50-point dives in the prelims. The first came in round four, when she nabbed a score of 53.20. The Frisco, Texas, native closed the competition with another 53.20, moving up two spots from round five to 16th overall with a score of 284.25.

The top-scores earned the duo spots in the top-18 and advanced them to the three-meter finals. In the finals Naylor continued to move up in the ranks and she concluded her tremendous comeback with a 54.6 on her final dive for ninth overall and a final score of 600.90. Clark continued her banner day in the finals, ending with a final score of 559.45 for 18th overall.

The Razorbacks return to the pool tomorrow at 11 a.m. on the one-meter board.

“I’m looking for Kesha to have a great day tomorrow,” Schultz said. “That’s her strength and I am also looking for the others to have a solid day.”

Fans looking to follow the swimming and diving team as they compete at NCAA Zone Diving can do so by tuning in to ArkansasRazorbacks.com and following the Razorbacks on Twitter (@RazorbackSwim).

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