Erin Mertz Named Big 12 Diver of the Week

Feb. 20, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas freshman diver Erin Mertz was named Big 12 Diver of the Week by the Big 12 Conference Wednesday. Mertz received the honor for her diving performances against conference foe Iowa State Feb. 8-9, a meet the Jayhawks won 188-106. Votes were cast by Big 12 head coaches. This is the first Big 12 honor of Mertz’s diving career at Kansas. The accolade also marks the first time this season that a freshman has won the honor for women’s diving.

Mertz captured first-place honors in both the one and three-meter competitions against the Cyclones. Reeling in a score of 307.65 on the one-meter board and 302.33 in the three-meter competition, Mertz tallied 18 points for Kansas in the competition.

The Omaha, Neb., native has accumulated five one-meter diving victories in her first season as a Jayhawk, including wins against Arkansas, Iowa and Big 12 Conference rivals Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa State. In three-meter action, Mertz has taken top honors three times, against Drury, Nebraska and Iowa State.

“Erin is well-deserving of the Big 12 honor,” diving coach Eric Elliott said. “She has definitely been one of the top divers in the conference and now she’s getting recognition for it. Hopefully this will give her confidence going into the Big 12 Championships and NCAA Zones. I am proud of her work and effort.”

Mertz and the Jayhawks depart early next week for Austin, Texas, the site of the 2008 Big 12 Conference swimming and diving championships. The four-day event begins Feb. 27 and will continue through March 1 at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Results and news from the championships can be found on following each day of competition.