Upperclassmen pace divers at Jean Freeman Invite
MINNEAPOLIS – Nadia Khechfe finished seventh in a crowded field of 41 on the one-meter boards and Amanda Maser was less than one point off of a collegiate-best tally in platform competition as Kansas competed at the Jean Freeman Invitational at Minnesota Aquatic Center Friday.
Minnesota tandem Yu Zhou (349.70) and Sarah Bacon (326.50) took the top two spots in the one-meter competition, each scoring enough to qualify for the NCAA Zone Championships, while Khechfe turned in a six-dive tally of 214.30 for seventh place. Kansas freshman TJ Duckett placed among the top half (14th) with a score of 175.10, just her second competition of the fall.
“Half the list was at the level we want it to be at, where we’re real happy,” Kansas diving head coach Gabe Downey said of Khechfe’s effort, “but two of the others were pretty much at mid-season level, but that’s where we’re at. We know what we need to clean up.”
On the platform, Lexi Tenenbaum made it a day-one, home-team sweep with a 322.50 to claim first among the six competitors, with Maser scoring 187.85 in fifth place. Kansas freshman Peri Charapich tallied a 160.40 in her first collegiate platform competition for sixth.
Kansas has battled its share of injuries while adding two freshman to its regular rotation during the fall slate and added to the unfamiliarity with its first competitive event on the tower. The most significant change Friday may have come in the form of the size of the field and the time between dives. All of Kansas’ diving efforts prior to the weekend have come during dual meets, often with fields in the single digits.
“It was a two-and-a-half-hour competition, which is great for us, but we’re used to 20 minute competitions,” Downey said. “Two-and-a-half hours is a whole different beast. We’ve got to learn how to practice that better. I told the girls that’s what we’re going to focus on tomorrow, how to get better prepared for that circumstance which more like what we see at Big 12s and NCAA Zones.”
The diving portion of the Jean Freeman Invitational continues Saturday with Charapich, Khechfe and Maser all scheduled to compete on the three-meter boards with a field of nearly 50.
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