March 9, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
Both Cowboy divers finished in the top-10 of the 3-meter diving event as the University of Wyoming had a solid opening day at the 2006 NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships at the Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City.
The Cowboy diving duo of juniors Kevin Bretting and John Lynch had a terrific day as they both finished in the top-10 of the 3-meter diving event. Bretting, a native of Loveland, Colo., finished ninth with a score of 590.70. Lynch, a San Antonio, Texas native, finished just behind Bretting with a tenth place score of 587.30. Both Cowboys are in a good position to possibly qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will be held later this month.
"I couldn't be more proud of our guys," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "They did a phenomenal job today. They showed that they not only deserved to be in a big meet like this, but that they among the elite and are more than capable of qualifying for the NCAA's."
The Cowgirls also had a solid day as they competed in a field of 44 divers in the 1-meter event. Leading the way for the Cowgirls was sophomore Ginni van Katwijk. Van Katwijk, a native of Grookebroek, Netherlands, finished 19th with a score of 224.25. Junior Emily Keefer, from Stillwater, Minn., placed 26th with a score of 209.10. Evanston, Wyo. native Brittany Wainwright placed 33rd with a score of 200.65 despite missing one of her dives.
"The women had a pretty good day as well," added Herdt. "I think this is the best a Wyoming women's team has ever done in an event at this meet and I am so proud of them for that. Brittany missed one dive and got a zero and still managed to finish 33rd. If it hadn't have been for that, I think she would have been close to the top. I think the girls are a little tougher in 3-meter and will have a great day tomorrow."
Blythe Hartley of USC won the women's 1-meter dive for the second-consecutive year with 670.15 points and Joona Puhakka of Arizona State also won the men's 3-meter finals for the second-consecutive year with 879.95 points.
The zone meet will continue tomorrow as the men compete in 1-meter and the women in 3-meter. The qualifiers to the NCAA Championships from Zone "E" will not be announced until the completion of the platform event on Saturday. The top-eight men and 11 women will qualify for the championships.