March 12, 2008
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's men's and women's diving teams head to Columbus, Ohio this weekend for the NCAA Zone C Championships at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
The three-day NCAA Championship qualifying event begins Friday with the women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter springboard competitions. It concludes Sunday with platform diving.
Zone C includes 10 of the 11 Big Ten Schools in addition to a number of other Midwest institutions such as Notre Dame, Toledo and Eastern Michigan. For a second-straight year, Zone C has been allocated seven men's spots and nine women's spots for the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Purdue will be represented at Zone C by a contingent of eight divers, including 2007 NCAA qualifiers Zach Schultz and Emily Wetzel. The Boilermaker veterans will be joined by Katie Berg, David Colturi, Kara Cook, Emily Griesemer, Ashley Karnes and Kyle Mitrione.
Of this group, only Berg and Mitrione have experience competing at the Zone C Championships. Colturi and Cook are both freshmen, Griesemer was with Auburn at this time last year, and Karnes was injured following the 2007 Big Ten Championships.
Karnes has battled through her injuries to become Purdue's spotlight diver this season. The Bloomington, Ind., native won all of her springboard competitions during the second half of the regular season and posted personal records of 317.45 points (1-meter) and 335.00 points (3-meter) at this year's conference championships. Karnes finished the meet with a team-high 33 points and her runner-up showing on 1-meter netted her a spot on the All-Big Ten second team.
Cook and Colturi also experienced successful runs at Big Ten's. Cook moved up from an eighth-place preliminary score of 248.60 points to win the conference platform title with 289.00 points. The Woodlands, Texas, native edged Ohio State rookie Kristen Asman for first place by a mere .85 points.
Colturi scored 62 individual points at Big Ten's, which tied him for tenth place with Indiana's Todd Patrick and Michigan's Tyler Clary. He was the second highest scoring diver behind only IU's Landon Marzullo, who totaled 72 points.
Colturi enters Zones holding three Purdue freshman records - all of which were established at Big Ten's. The Sylvania, Ohio, native scored 423.15 points off 3-meter in finishing as the conference runner-up. He also totaled 362.20 points to place third off 1-meter and 398.40 points in finishing fifth on tower.
Zone allocations are weighted more towards success on the springboard than on tower. On the men's side with seven allocations, only the platform winner is guaranteed their spot at NCAA's. But an individual placing third on 1- or 3-meter will also qualify for the championships.
With two more allocations given to the women's side, the platform runner-up and fourth-place finisher on 3-meter advance to the NCAA's as well.
Wetzel benefitted from Zone C's high allotment of allocations last year even though she placed third on tower with 512.50 points and 10th on 3-meter with 493.35 points. But because so many of the same divers placed ahead of her on springboard and tower, her name kept getting bumped up the list until she claimed the eighth of nine allocations.
A qualification grid for how the allocations are determined can be found here.
In addition to Ohio State, which will welcome the NCAA Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships the following weekend, the following cities and schools are playing host to regional zone meets this weekend.
Zone Diving Sites
Zone A: University at Buffalo (March 14-16) - Buffalo, New York
Zone B: Auburn University (March 14-16) - Auburn, Alabama
Zone C: Ohio State University (March 14-16) - Columbus, Ohio
Zone D: University of Houston (March 14-16) - Houston, Texas
Zone E: U.S. Air Force Academy (March 13-15) - Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Women: March 20-22, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University)
Men: March 27-29, 2008 in Federal Way, Wash. (University of Washington)
The order of events for the NCAA Zone C competition is as follows:
Thursday at 1 p.m. - Women's 1-Meter / Men's 3-Meter (simultaneous)
Friday at 1 p.m. - Men's 1-Meter / Women's 3-Meter (simultaneous)
Saturday at 11 a.m. - Men's Platform / 30 minute break / Women's Platform
- Doors for the general public will be open approximately 90 minutes before the start of each session.
Live results for 2008 NCAA Zone C Diving championships will be available through www.divemeets.com.
Parking passes will not be issued. Parking is available at an hourly rate in the Neil Avenue Parking Garage just south of the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and the Tuttle Park Place Parking Garage north of the facility.