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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dive teams plunge into Zone E Regional Champs

    Arizona senior diver Matt Bisordi plunges into the pool during a meet against Texas on Jan. 19 at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The mens and womens dive teams are in Oklahoma City to attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships later this month.
    Arizona senior diver Matt Bisordi plunges into the pool during a meet against Texas on Jan. 19 at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The men’s and women’s dive teams are in Oklahoma City to attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships later this month.

    It’s do or die time for the Arizona men’s and women’s dive teams. The Zone E Regional Dive Championships kick off today in Oklahoma City and provide divers from across the West their only chance to qualify for the NCAA championships in Columbus, Ohio, later this month.

    With 43 women and 23 men competing in the Zone E Championships, the competition and the stakes will be much higher than at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships in Seattle two weeks ago as only seven women and eight men can qualify for the NCAAs.

    “”If you get anybody into NCAAs, either one or two divers, it’s huge,”” said UA head dive coach Michele Mitchell. “”I’m hoping to get one girl and one or two guys qualified for NCAAs.””

    Based on how Arizona fared in the Pac-10s, qualifying two men and at least one woman for the NCAAs seems like an attainable goal.

    At the Pac-10s, Arizona freshman Ben Grado took third in the 3-meter springboard, second on the 1m springboard and fifth on the platforms, while senior teammate Matt Bisordi placed fifth on the 3m springboard, fourth on the 1m springboard and eighth on the platforms.

    Another Arizona freshman, Danielle Ridgway, also had a strong showing in Seattle, winning the platform portion of the competition with a score of 284.20. If that trio can keep up their recent level of diving, Arizona should be able to meet its goal.

    “”I think Ben (Grado) and Matt Bisordi have a very good shot at qualifying through,”” Mitchell said. “”When you get (to the Zone Championships) what you’ve done previously has no bearing at all. This is a do or die meet. It’s really a matter of luck and standing up to the pressure of a do or die situation and just being on your game.””

    Mitchell said

    Strange things always happen at this competition. People can look good in warm-ups and then when the competition begins they can fall apart, or you can also have the reverse happen.

    – Michele Mitchell,
    head coach

    Bisordi hasn’t been able to get past this meet for the last few years, but “”he’s in a better mental frame and physical status than ever before”” so this could be the year he competes for a national title.

    “”There’s about 10 guys who really have a shot and only eight are going to make it,”” Mitchell said. “”Strange things always happen at this competition. People can look good in warm-ups and then when the competition begins they can fall apart, or you can also have the reverse happen.””

    Today the men will compete on the 3m springboards and the women will be on the 1m springboards before the two groups switch boards for tomorrow’s events. Saturday is the final day of competition and both the men and women will take to the platforms.

    Mitchell didn’t want any of her divers to comment on the meet because she didn’t want to perceive the meet as “”bigger than it really is.””

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