Purdue Men & Women at Zone C Diving Championships
Thursday to Saturday, March 8 to 10 at 1 p.m., 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. ET
McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion / Columbus, Ohio
AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING SPOTS TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS FROM ZONE C
Top 12 in an event also qualify for NCAAs if he or she has already auto-qualified
1-Meter - Women: 8 // Men: 10
3-Meter - Women: 10 // Men: 10
Platform - Women: 10 // Men: 11
ZONE C SCHEDULE
Top 18 in springboard prelims, Top 12 in platform prelims advance to finals
Thursday at 1 p.m. - Women's 1-Meter, Men's 3-Meter
Friday at 1 p.m. - Men's 1-Meter, Women's 3-Meter
Saturday at 11 a.m. - Women's Platform, Men's Platform to follow (2 p.m.)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A year after qualifying all eight of its divers for the NCAA Championships, Purdue will once again be represented by eight student-athletes at the Zone C Diving Championships this week in Columbus.
Action is set for Thursday through Saturday at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Purdue women competed at OSU's pool last month for the Big Ten Championships and will return to Columbus next week should they qualify for the NCAA Championships at Zones.
The springboard competitions begin at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday and women's platform diving opens Saturday's action at 11 a.m. Thursday's schedule features the women competing on 1-meter and the men on 3-meter. They'll be on the opposite boards Friday. The men's platform competition follows the women's Saturday.
Emily Bretscher, Emily Meaney, Morgan Meixner, Samm Reese and Lexi Vincent will represent the Purdue women. Joe Cifelli, Steele Johnson and Brandon Loschiavo will compete for the Purdue men. As the lone freshman among the group, Bretscher is the only Boilermaker that has not previously qualified for the NCAA Championships via Zones. However, Bretscher joined Johnson as the only Boilermakers to score in all three diving events at Big Tens this year. Loschiavo, Meaney, Meixner and Reese all qualified for NCAAs for the first time last season, Loschiavo and Meaney doing so as freshmen.
Ohio State is hosting Zones for the fourth time since 2011 and sixth time since 2006. The Men's Big Ten Championships and USA Diving AT&T National Championships (July) were also held at McCorkle in 2017.
AUTO-BIDS INCREASE IN ZONE C
Highlighted by Johnson's NCAA titles in both springboard events, the Purdue divers combined for 10 scoring finishes (which produce All-America honors) at the NCAA Championships a year ago. That helped earn Zone C additional auto-qualifying spots this season. Across both genders, Zone C has 17 additional auto-qualifying berths available than it did last year. Men's 1-meter took the biggest jump, increasing from five to 10 auto-bids. Men's and women's platform both saw an increase in four auto-bids.
ROAD TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS RUNS THROUGH ZONES
Securing at least one automatic-qualifying finish is the key. For the women in Zone C, the top-eight finishers on 1-meter, top 10 on 3-meter and top 10 on the platforms earn auto-bids at the NCAA Championships in those events. Men's automatic berths are awarded to the top 10 on 1-meter, top 10 on 3-meter and top 11 on the platforms. The top 12 overall in each event remains the other notable portion of the leaderboard.
Once a diver has auto-qualified in one event, he or she only has to be among the top 12 in an additional event to also be eligible to compete in it at NCAAs. With the increased number of auto-bids in Zone C this year, there will be fewer divers add events to their NCAA schedules with just top-12 finishes.
At Zones, the top-18 finishers in the springboard prelims and the top 12 in the platform prelims advance to the championship rounds, from which the divers qualify for the NCAA Championships. Scores carry over from prelims to finals.
PURDUE EVENT BREAKDOWN AT ZONES
Career appearances at NCAAs in parenthesis
Steele Johnson (2): 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform
Joe Cifelli (2), Morgan Meixner (1), Samm Reese (1): 1-Meter, 3-Meter
Emily Bretscher, Emily Meaney (1): 1-Meter, Platform
Brandon Loschiavo (1), Lexi Vincent (2): Platform
ZONES ACROSS THE USA
There are five Zone Championships meets around the country. Each Zone is allotted a different number of qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships. Rutgers is hosting A and Minnesota Zone D this week. Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin are also competing at Zone D, but the rest of the Big Ten's divers should be in Columbus.
The Zone C Championships will also feature divers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame as well as selected Horizon and Summit League, Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conference schools.
Unlike their swimmer counterparts, the divers have to perform well this weekend to qualify for the NCAA Championships. No other scores or results from regular-season competition are considered.
Along with Rutgers (Zone A) and Minnesota (Zone D), Tennessee (Zone B) and Northern Arizona (Zone E) are also hosting Zone meets this week. As is customary, Zone C is the final meet to get underway. Action at the four other Zones was Monday through Wednesday.