Xu earns All-American at NCAA Championships
AUSTIN, Texas – Senior Vicky Xu concludes her first day of competition at the 2019 NCAA Championships as an All-American on the one-meter board Thursday evening inside the Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Xu started the day with a solid preliminary event on one-meter when she nailed in a top-seven finish with a score of 299.25 to send her to finals. In the evening, her 284.60 scored performance on the one-meter diving event awarded her an All-American honor with an eighth-place finals finish.
That performance made Xu the first Jayhawk to advance to finals at the NCAA meet since 2016 when Chelsie Miller swam a top-eight finishing time in the 400-yard individual medley. In addition, the last time the NCAA diving boards saw a Jayhawk was when Erin Mertz dove a 284.35 and seventh-place finish back in 2009.
“We have high expectations for her (Vicky) just based on her skill level and what we have seen this season and yet she exceeded it significantly,” head diving coach Gabe Downey said. “That is hard to do when you are that good. And so for her to come out and have a performance in a new environment was remarkable, especially in prelims. She is a gamer, it was a performance and it just lead to a really fun time.”
After such an impressive and successful day, Downey sees today as a confidence booster for Xu as she goes into her main event tomorrow in the three-meter springboard.
“It is no secret that the three-meter is her better event and so we approached today as sort of her warm-up for tomorrow,” Downey said. “You know, we want to be successful, but it gives her enormous confidence and toughness going into tomorrow’s event having just gone through that same thing.”
Xu returns to the diving well Friday morning to compete in the three-meter diving event. Preliminary rounds begin at 11:30 A.M. followed by swimming and diving finals at 5 P.M.
There will be live results for the divers on the Dive Meets website as well as a live video feed on www.texassports.com. Thursday and Friday’s final events will be on ESPNU and ESPN3.