COLUMBUS, Ohio - Punctuated by five berths on platform Saturday, for the second year in a row all eight Purdue divers qualified for the NCAA Championships via a stellar week at the Zone C Championships.
Emily Meaney, Lexi Vincent and Emily Bretscher clinched their bids to NCAAs by finishing second, fifth and eighth in the women's platform competition Saturday. Brandon Loschiavo and Steele Johnson finished 1-2 among the men on the tower. Loschiavo clinched his berth at NCAAs in convincing fashion, winning by over 100 points with the third-highest score nationally at Zones.
The Boilermakers will have multiple representatives in all three diving events at both the men's and women's national championship meets later this month.
Vincent qualified for the NCAA Championships on platform for the third year in a row, becoming just Purdue's second female diver to accomplish the feat (in any event). Purdue Hall of Famer Carrie McCambridge also qualified three years in a row from 2004 to 2006.
Johnson qualified for the NCAA Championships in all three diving events for the third time in his career. He has won NCAA titles in all three diving events during his career and is the defending champion in both springboard events.
Bretscher's eighth-place finish on the tower Saturday also made her an NCAAs qualifier on 1-meter. She placed ninth on 1-meter Thursday. Divers that place among the top 12 in an event at Zones earn the right to compete in the event at NCAAs once they finish in an automatic-qualifying spot in another event. Her performance Saturday marked the fourth year in a row that one of the Boilermakers' freshman divers qualified for NCAAs.
With all five divers qualifying, the Purdue women will be represented by a program-high 12 Boilermakers at the NCAA Championships. Seven swimmers also qualified, including three as part of the 800 freestyle relay team. Joe Cifelli, Johnson and Loschiavo join 200 breaststroke record holder Marat Amaltdinov as the Purdue men's NCAAs qualifiers.
Loschiavo and Meaney both qualified for NCAAs on platform for the second year in a row. Meaney posted a Purdue season-best score of 351.5 in the prelim Saturday.
Loschiavo and Johnson both improved on their prelim list scores in the final. Loschiavo was the only diver to exceed 400 points with both lists (427.4 prelim, 451.45 final). Johnson also surpassed the 400-point mark in the final (409.15).
The Women's NCAA Championships are set for March 14 to 17 back in Columbus. The Men's NCAA Championships is the following week (March 21 to 24) in Minneapolis.
PURDUE DIVING EVENT SCHEDULE AT 2018 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Women's 1-Meter: Emily Bretscher, Morgan Meixner, Samm Reese
Men's 1-Meter: Joe Cifelli, Steele Johnson
Women's 3-Meter: Morgan Meixner, Samm Reese
Men's 3-Meter: Joe Cifelli, Steele Johnson
Women's Platform: Emily Bretscher, Emily Meaney, Lexi Vincent
Men's Platform: Steele Johnson, Brandon Loschiavo
NCAA ZONE C CHAMPIONSHIPS
DAY THREE AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
WOMEN'S PLATFORM (TOP 10 FINISHERS)
Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern
Emily Meaney, Purdue
Jessica Parratto, Indiana
Lara Tarvit, Ohio State
Lexi Vincent, Purdue
Christy Cutshaw, Michigan
Molly Fears, Louisville
Emily Bretscher, Purdue -- Also qualified for NCAAs on 1-meter
Mya Kraeger, Indiana
Courtney Clark, Kentucky
MEN'S PLATFORM (TOP 11 FINISHERS)
Brandon Loschiavo, Purdue
Steele Johnson, Purdue
Andrew Capobianco, Indiana
Chris Law, Ohio State
Sebastian Masterton, Kentucky
Ross Todd, Michigan
Chase Lane, Kentucky
Stephen Romanik, Ohio State
Aaron Daniels-Freeman, Ohio State
Clay White, Ohio State
Jacob Siler, Ohio State
PURDUE DIVERS, WOMEN'S PLATFORM METER
Emily Meaney, 637.8 -- Finished 2nd (286.3 Final, 351.5 Prelim)
Lexi Vincent, 560.3 -- Finished 5th (255.8 Final, 304.5 Prelim)
Emily Bretscher, 522.5 -- Finished 8th (246.1 Final, 276.4 Prelim)