Mertz Places Seventh to Become KU's First All-American Diver Since 1996

March 19, 2009


Kansas sophomore Erin Mertz earned All-American status with her seventh place finish on the one-meter board at the Swimming and Diving NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas Thursday night. Mertz scored 298.40 points.

Mertz became the first Jayhawk to earn All-American status since Kristin Nilsen accomplished the feat in 1998 with her 15th place performance in the 200 yard breaststroke. Mertz is the first diver to earn the honor since Michelle Rojohn won the three-meter diving event in 1996. The top eight divers at the NCAA Championships earn All-American status.

“It was a great day today, and it was very exciting,” said Kansas diving coach Eric Elliott. “Erin really stepped-up today and nailed almost every single one of her dives. She was very calm throughout the competition and full of confidence. We’re all very proud of her.”

Mertz’s 298.40 points on the one-meter board were the best by any Jayhawk diver this year. She qualified for the finals with a seventh-place finish earlier in the day when she tallied 284.35 points.

Houston’s Anastasia Pozdniakova won the competition with 351.15 points. Kathryn Kelly of Texas finished with 300.10 points, just 1.70 points ahead of Mertz for sixth-place and the top finish from the Big 12 Conference.

On Friday, senior Maria Mayrovich will participate in the 200 yard freestyle and sophomore Iuliia Kuzhil will participate in her lone NCAA Championships event, the 100 yard backstroke. Mertz will dive on the three-meter board Friday and the platform on Saturday.

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Erin Mertz’s Scores By Dive
1. 49.40 (Degree of Difficulty – 2.6)
2. 51.75 (DD – 2.3)
3. 39.60 (DD – 2.4)
4. 55.20 (DD – 2.4)
5. 46.20 (DD – 2.2)
6. 56.25 (DD – 2.5)
Total: 298.40 points