Xu represents Kansas at the 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
AUSTIN, Texas – Senior diver Vicky Xu returns to Austin, Texas, for the third time in the month to represent the Kansas swimming and diving team in the 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships inside the Jamail Texas Swimming Center, March 20-23.
During her season at Kansas, Xu has been a top-two in every regular-season meet and gained the Kansas school record on the one-meter (330.15) and three-meter (420.60) boards, both at the last home meet of the year against Iowa State (2/9).
Just a week before her now standing records, Xu blew away the crowd when she beat the defending NCAA Champion, Brooke Shultz, at her home pool in Arkansas on three-meter with a score of 398.63, adding to her nearly perfect first-place streak on the three-meter board in the entire season.
By the time the 2019 Big 12 Championship (Feb. 27-March 2) came around, Xu had a solid set of scores as she dove into all three final events in the diving well. She took home third-place on her opening one-meter final event with a 322.35 and an exciting first-place finish on the three-meter final event the following day with a 380.00. She concluded her Big 12 Championship events with a fourth-place score of 228.90 on the platform event.
Those scores set Xu up to compete in the NCAA Zone Diving Championship shortly after (March 11-13) where she put down one-meter scores of 293.20 and a running score of 586.00. During the three-meter events, Xu dove a 371.95 during prelims and a running score of 737.55 in finals.
“Having Vicky has been huge for our program. We knew going into it that we were getting an elite-level athlete. And yes, she has surpassed anything we could have hoped for. She has provided great leadership both vocal and by example and has helped elevate the whole team, not just the divers, but the whole team. Obviously she provides a lot of points and good impression for us, but it is really who she is not just what she does that has been an incredible thing for us.” head diving coach Gabe Downey said.
Xu will be one out of a total of the 77 women student-athletes in the diving competiiton as she hits the waters on both the one-meter and three-meter diving events to represent Kansas. As she nears the events, she is excited to dive into the competition waters yet again in Austin, Texas.
With women student-athletes from 31 different schools across the nation, being able to compete in this competition is not only a huge honor, but a big accomplishment. The best swimmers and divers will be at this Championship, so any chance to represent the University and herself is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Xu.
Downey looks forward to the meet and hopes that Xu can embrace the new competition that she hasn’t faced yet.
“Vicky being here elevates us as a program but it is something that she is certainly deserving of,” Downey said.
Downey continued.. “I know she is humbled to be in this elite company. You never know what placement she will end up, but I know she has mental toughness and the physical abilities to perform at a high level. And so we are here to not just be present, but it is an honor just to be here.”
The Kansas swimming and diving program has yet to see a diver alone represent the school at the NCAA Championships. The last time a diver stepped foot in this competition 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 2016 inside the Minnesota Aquatic Center.
“We have never had one diver represent Kansas by herself at the NCAA meet, we have had a swimmer but never a diver,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We all talk about just enjoying it, having fun, and being in the moment and the best version of yourself, that type of thing, and just see her do that. Let the chips fall where they may, it is a high-level competition, but the great thing about Vicky is that she is used to high-level competitions. So she will go there, she had a really good zone meet and this will be the third meet in a row in Austin. So, she should definitely know the facility and be comfortable in it. She has dove well every time she has dove there. So just keep doing what she is doing.”
Although the competitions start Wednesday, March 19, Xu’s diving events begin Thursday morning at 11:30 A.M. with the one-meter diving preliminary event and continue into finals with the swimming events Thursday evening at 5 P.M. The three-meter event will occur at the same times the following day, Friday, March 22.
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.