COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Arkansas diving team wrapped up competition at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships Wednesday at Texas A&M’s Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
The final day of the meet featured the platform competition. The top nine divers in the event qualified for the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Arkansas senior Shelby Bartlett and sophomore Nicole Gillis advanced to the 18-diver final. Bartlett placed 13th overall with a 10-dive total of 470.45, while Gillis took 14th with a 461.30 total.
“Shelby worked hard today and just missed out on qualifying,” Arkansas diving coach Jeff DiNicola said. ” I am glad she was able to finish her career strong while competing for a spot at NCAAs.”
Freshman Molly Harvie finished 26th in prelims with a six-dive score of 202.90.
The NCAA Zone D Diving Championships was one of five meets across the nation that served as a qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Zone D was allocated six qualifiers for the one-meter springboard and nine qualifiers in each the three-meter springboard and platform.
Gillis will represent the Razorback diving corps at the national event March 16-19 at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta. Yesterday, she posted a 12-dive total of 651.60 to take sixth overall in the three-meter springboard event and earn her first career NCAA bid. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native is the first Arkansas diver since Madison Palmer in 2008 to qualify for NCAAs. She is also eligible to compete on the one-meter springboard, thanks to her top-10 finish in the event Monday.
“I am proud for Nicole to finally see results from her dedication and hard work,” DiNicola said. “Her teammates definitely helped her in this journey. We’re expecting to score points and be competitive at NCAAs. Our zone is hard. Our conference is hard. And this week gives us the experience needed to step up and compete under pressure.”
In addition, the Razorbacks will send two individual swimmers and two relay teams to the NCAA Championships. Seniors Anna Mayfield and Maddie Monroe are among 281 Division I swimmers invited to participate in individual events. Mayfield will compete in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle, and 200-yard backstroke, while Monroe will take the pool in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyle events. Mayfield, Monroe, senior Nina Drolc and sophomore Chelsea Tatlow will represent the Razorbacks in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Mayfield, Monroe and Drolc will also join junior Natalie Burnett in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
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