Xu concludes NCAA Championships with two All-American honors

AUSTIN, Texas – The 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships concludes for the Jayhawks after senior Vicky Xu earned her second All-America honor Friday night inside the Jamail Swimming Center.

After an exciting one-meter event on Thursday, Xu was ready to hit the water Friday for her second and last day of the meet and season. Friday’s three-meter diving competition began when Xu established her second finals spot of the meet after diving a seventh-place score of 343.65 in the preliminary competition.

In the evening, Xu, along with seven other strong All-American divers from across the nation, took on the finals event in full force. Xu locked-in an eighth-place finish in the finals with a 358.60 to conclude her time at the Championships.

“I couldn’t be happier with what she did in her performance,” head diving coach Gabe Downey said. “She (Vicky) went after it, and that is all you can ask from any athlete. She made a little mistake too, but because she was going 100 percent. And when you are going up against the very best you have to do that and you can’t hold back. And that is a great mind set, so sometimes that doesn’t go your way, but she took the right approach, it was the right way to go about it so I couldn’t be happier with the effort that she made.”

Along with her performances at such a prestigious competition, the team chemistry that was created when Xu became a Jayhawk this season is one that is easily spotted. Downey remarks on his awe in the various different ways Xu impacted the team.

“What is remarkable to me is how in such a short period of time someone can make such a huge and lasting impact,” Downey said. “We certainly appreciate everything Vicky did in terms of place finishes and team points and those things, but I am really optimistic and confident that her impact will continue for a long time to come. And that is just such a testament to her abilities, her leadership and her as a person.”

As it is hard to believe that Xu’s time on the team has reached an end she will forever be grateful for her opportunities to represent the Jayhawks.

“I fit in perfectly with this team,” Xu said. “Everyone is so supportive and gave me the strength and the energy I needed to be what I am now. I appreciate all of my coaches and teammates. We had a lot of fun, I love them.”

Joining in from Austin, head coach Clark Campbell was able to see Xu’s performance poolside. After a remarkable past couple of days at the Championships he is proud and happy for Xu and everything that she has accomplished as an athlete and teammate.

“Vicky made such a big difference to our whole program,” Campbell said. “She came in mid-year and did such a great job with everything being such a new experience for her. She competed so well and represented KU at the highest level at the NCAA Championships and was really impressive in everything she did. We are really glad for all that she has done for our program in a short amount of time.”

The meet marks the end of a very successful NCAA competition season for Kansas. The Jayhawks went 7-1 in dual meets before posting a program record score at Big 12 Championships of 754.50.