March 4, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
For the first time since the 1998-99 season, a Cowboy diver will represent the University of Wyoming at the NCAA Championship meet. Senior Kevin Bretting became that Cowboy on Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Bretting, a native of Loveland, Colo., earned his NCAA berth by placing eighth in Friday's three-meter event.
"This is very exciting for Kevin and for Wyoming diving," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "Kevin is the first Wyoming diver to qualifying for the NCAA's since Oscar Delgado in 1999 and before that, the last time we had a qualifier was in the mid 1980's. By qualifying, Kevin puts himself among the best divers in UW history and I couldn't be more proud of him."
On Saturday, both the men and women competed in the platform event to wrap-up the regional meet. All five Wyoming divers that competed did so in the finals. For the men, senior John Lynch placed 10th in his final college event with a score of 534.40. Bretting placed 13th with a score of 514.65. For the women, senior Emily Keefer led the way in her final event with an 11th place score of 378.35. Freshman Stephanie Ortiz placed 15th with a score of 356.60 and junior Brittany Wainwright placed 16th with a mark of 354.00.
Arizona State's Michele Benedetti won the men's platform event by turning in a score of 738.75. On the women's side, UCLA's Tess Schofield placed first with a score of 524.45.
For the Cowgirls, both Saara Haapanen and Wainwright just missed qualifying for the national championship meet. Haapanen missed qualifying by three spots and Wainwright was the fourth diver out of the national field.
"It is disappointing that none of our women got into the championships," added Herdt. "We were very close to getting two women in, but we weren't quite as consistent as we needed to be. However, that doesn't take away from the great season our team had and I am very proud of every member of this team."
For Bretting, the NCAA Championships will run March 15-17 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn.