Reese was third and Meixner eighth in the women’s 1-meter competition. Johnson placed third and Cifelli 10th in the men’s 3-meter competition. By auto-qualifying on the first day of Zones, the four Boilermakers only need to finish among the 12 in their subsequent events at Zones to add those events to their schedules at the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Emily Bretscher took ninth on 1-meter, finishing one place shy of an automatic-qualifying berth. However, her top-12 finish was still important. With a top-10 finish on platform Saturday, she’ll qualify for the NCAAs on both 1-meter and platform.
Cifelli and Johnson clinched berths at the NCAA Championships for the third time in their careers. Meixner and Reese qualified for the second year in a row. Johnson was the NCAA champion on 3-meter last season. Cifelli qualified on 3-meter again after competing only on 1-meter at the 2017 national championship meet.
Johnson and Reese both improved on their prelim scores in the final. Zones is the only NCAA meet in which scores are cumulative, carrying over from the prelims to finals. Bretscher also improved on her prelim score in the final, but dropped from seventh to ninth.
Three of Johnson’s dives Thursday were awarded the best scores of that round. He accomplished the feat in round two of the prelim (71.4) as well as rounds two and four of the final (76.5, 74.8).
Reese’s score of 52.8 was the best for the entirety of round five of the final.
Cifelli finished strong with a score of 65.1 after a poor stretch from rounds three through five in the final. But he still finished 15 points ahead of the 11th-place finisher for the final auto-qualifying berth at NCAAs.
Meixner and Bretscher were very consistent with their scores, posting totals there were three points or less different from the prelim to final.
The Zone C Championships continue Friday with the men on 1-meter and women on 3-meter. Cifelli, Johnson, Meixner and Reese are scheduled to compete again. They only need to finish among the top 12 to qualify for the NCAA Championships again.
NCAA ZONE C DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
DAY ONE AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
WOMEN’S 1-METER (TOP 8 FINISHERS)
Jessica Parratto, Indiana
Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern
Samm Reese, Purdue
Pei Lin, Miami (Ohio)
Talisa Lemke, Bowling Green
Erin Isola, Notre Dame
Kelly Straub, Notre Dame
Morgan Meixner, Purdue
MEN’S 3-METER (TOP 10 FINISHERS)
Michael Hixon, Indiana
James Connor, Indiana
Steele Johnson, Purdue
Joe Coumos, Notre Dame
Chris Law, Ohio State
Stephen Romanik, Ohio State
Sebastian Masterton, Kentucky
Andrew Capobianco, Indiana
Ross Todd, Michigan
Joe Cifelli, Purdue
PURDUE DIVERS, WOMEN’S 1-METER
Samm Reese, 583.95 – Finished 3rd (298.7 Finals, 285.25 Prelims)
Morgan Meixner, 563.55 – Finished 8th (281.1 Finals, 282.45 Prelims)
Emily Bretscher, 561.1 – Finished 9th (281.9 Finals, 279.2 Prelims)
Emily Meaney, 232.15 – Finished 40th in Prelims