Khechfe competing at Zones Diving competition
MINNEAPOLIS — Taking a quick turnaround from the Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving Championship (Feb. 21-24), senior diver Nadia Khechfe will take the climb up to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships March 5-7 inside of the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center.
Division I diving teams from across the nation are split up into five zones (A-E) depending on where they are located. The University of Kansas is in Zone D, shared with 11 other states in the region.
At zones, divers will compete to get a qualifying place to NCAA Championships in the one-meter, three-meter and platform events. Championships will be hosted in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at Columbus, Ohio, March 14-17. Kansas head diving coach Gabe Downey looks forward to showing off all of the hard work that Khechfe has put into her season.
“This meet provides a great showcase for Nadia to compete against some of the best in the NCAA,” Downey said. “This is a bigger meet than Big 12’s with many talented divers and provides a wonderful challenge for her in terms of focus and mental toughness. As a senior, I’m confident that she’ll demonstrate that toughness and have a successful meet.”
Overall, the NCAA Championships will be taking in 41 women and 35 men for the diving events. The number of qualifying spots per zone varies on what zone an athlete is in and what event the athlete is competing in. Women divers in Zone D have three events to qualify for NCAAs and must get into the top-qualifying spots in one of the three events to go. Top-11 places for one-meter and top nine for both three-meter and platform. Men’s qualifying places are nine for one-meter, eight on three-meter and six on platform.
“It is crazy to think that this is my last NCAA Zones Meet after four years,” Khechfe said. “I’m excited that it’s at Minnesota because last time I was here it wasn’t my best meet, so I’m glad that I get a second chance! It’s exciting to be back and be around such strong competition. Making postseason all four years was a goal of mine and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my coaches, trainers and friends. I hope to finish my career strong.”
Event times are the following: Monday, March 5 women’s one-meter prelim/final events begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, women’s three-meter prelim/final events at 11a.m. and Wednesday women’s platform prelim/final events will once again begin at 11a.m.
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