FAYETTEVILLE – Three University of Arkansas divers head to the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships in Austin, Texas this weekend in hopes to qualify for the NCAA Championships next weekend.
Juniors Alex Roman and Liana Bugslag along with freshman Kesha Naylor are set to compete in the event after earning qualifying marks throughout the dual season. Naylor and Bugslag will each compete on the platform as well as the two springboard events, while Roman will vie for a spot at the national meet on the one and three meter boards.
"Our zone is comprised of us and LSU from the SEC, a few Big Ten and Big 12 schools as well as a few smaller schools," diving coach Dale Schultz said. "I think don’t think our conference is as strong as our zone, so it is going to be a challenge. I think with Liana, Kesha and Alex, we have a legitimate shot of getting one or two to the NCAAs."
Naylor was named to the Southeastern Conference all-freshman team after her performances at the conference championships in February. She and Bugslag placed in the top eight of the platform diving event’s preliminary competition, and came back to finish seventh and sixth, respectively.
Last year at the zone meet, Roman placed 18th on the one-meter with a total score of 447.15. She was the only Razorback diver to advance to the finals after placing 15th in the preliminary round. Bugslag placed sixth on the tower with a total score of 474.05. Bugslag qualified 11th for the finals with a preliminary score of 227.70.
The meet runs Friday through Sunday with the springboard prelims on Friday and Saturday morning and the platform on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Scores from the preliminary events will carry over to the finals for a combined total score.