First-place finish concludes day one of the Zone D diving competition
AUSTIN, Texas – Senior diver Vicky Xu dove her way into the NCAA Championships, as the Kansas divers concluded day one of the Zone D competition Monday night inside the Jamail Swimming Center.
The women’s three-meter event consisted of 55 divers, calling for a long and tough evening of competition. After a preliminary score of 371.95, Xu won the event on her final six dives with a mark of 737.55 to qualify for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held March 20-23.
The last time the Kansas diving program has seen a diver in the NCAA Championships was when senior Meghan Proehl competed in the 2010 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships inside the Boilermakers Aquatic Center at Purdue University. The last swimmer to compete in a NCAA Championship was Chelsie Miller in the 2016 inside the Minnesota Aquatic Center.
In that same event, junior Peri Charapich dove her way to a personal-best and season-end score of 253.20.
“I’m happy, excited and proud that I will be able to represent Kansas at the national level for diving after my performances today,” Xu said. “It is something Coach Downey and I have been working toward since I arrived.”
Head diving coach Gabe Downey is proud of what both divers did today and is excited to see where the rest of the competition takes them.
“Like Clark (Campbell) says, well begun is half done,” Downey said. “It was an incredible start, though we have more work to do, but Peri had the best three-meter meet of her life, the one board she wasn’t as successful on at the Big 12 Championship. She came back a week later and looked so good, I was so proud and happy with what she did and look forward to her building off of that next year. And I can’t say enough about Vicky’s toughness and resiliency. A four-hour contest and she didn’t miss, she was 12 for 12. It was like she was a pitcher with a no-hitter going. Every dive that came up, she put it down. Just a tremendous job by both girls, but now we have got to get some rest, get our work done in the morning and perform in the afternoon.”
Both Charapich and Xu will be back in the waters tomorrow as they compete on the one-meter springboard at 5 p.m. CT.