FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team sends its divers to the NCAA Zone D Diving Meet in Houston, Texas, this weekend. The top eight divers from the meet are selected to advance to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held March 20-22 in Columbus, Ohio. Juniors Madison Palmer, Kellyn Williams and Hilarie Wilson travel to the University of Houston for the competition.
The three-day meet is scheduled to begin on Friday with the one-meter competition starting at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the women begin competition on the three-meter springboard at 10 a.m. The platform event is slated to start at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. All three Lady’Back divers will compete in each event.
Arkansas is led by Palmer who holds the one-meter school record and has the third-best score in program history on the three meter. Palmer finished 12th on the one meter and 14th on the platform at last year’s meet.
Williams also competed at zones last season with her best place being 14th on the platform. This will be Wilson’s first trip to the regional meet.
“We have a great opportunity to qualify at least one to go along with the three swimmers that we already have qualified for the NCAA meet next week,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “The young ladies are excited as can be, and about as motivated as I’ve ever seen them. We’re really looking forward to some positive things this weekend at the zone meet.”
The Lady’Back divers met NCAA qualifying standards to compete in the meet with scores in regular season competition. There are five zone meets around the country this weekend, each with divers vying for a specific number of bids to the NCAA Championships.
“Divers have a different qualification process for the NCAA Championships than swimming,” said Poppell. “They have regional meets around the country where there is a neutral judging system set up for them to choose the competitors that go on to the championships.”
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