NAU Diving Sends Four to NCAA Zone Championships, Lumberjacks to Compete on Thursday and Friday

NAU Diving Sends Four to NCAA Zone Championships, Lumberjacks to Compete on Thursday and Friday

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona diving team travels to Austin, Texas for the 2010 NCAA Zone E Regional Diving Championships this week.  Four Lumberjack divers will compete on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards with an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

The women are fresh off impressive results at the WAC Championships, which concluded at the end of February with NAU swimming and diving finishing in fifth-place.  Three divers placed in the top eight on 1-meter and four finished in the top eight on 3-meter.  With a total of seven top eight finishers, NAU led all WAC competitors in top eight results.

The Lumberjacks are led by junior Taryn Harris who earned a silver medal on the 1-meter and a fourth-place finish on the 3-meter at the WAC Championships.  Harris finished eighth on the 1-meter at the Zone Championships a year ago narrowly missing a qualifying score for the NCAA Championships.  She placed 12th overall on the 3-meter.

Junior Lana Christensen posted a fifth-place result on 3-meter and ninth-place finish on 1-meter at the WAC Championships.  Christensen, along with Harris, have been the most consistent divers for the Lumberjacks during the 2009-10 season.  Last year, Christensen was 17th on 3-meter and 32nd on 1-meter in the preliminary round.

Junior Megan Collier finished sixth on 1-meter and seventh on 3-meter at the WAC Championships and enters this year’s Zones as another experienced championship meet competitor for NAU.  Collier was fourth on the platform at the WAC Championships, but will not be competing in the event this week.  She placed 38th on 1-meter and 27th on 3-meter in the preliminary round at the 2009 Zone Championships.

Freshman Kristy Ardavanis has enjoyed a brilliant season in her first year of collegiate competition.  At her first conference championship meet, Ardavanis earned a bronze medal on 3-meter, joining Harris in the exclusive group of Lumberjack divers with a top-three finish.  She was also seventh on 1-meter at the WAC meet.

This season, Harris, Christensen, and Ardavanis were all recognized as Verizon Wireless WAC Diver of the Week with Harris collecting the honor twice.

Harris and Collier will be competing in their third consecutive Zone Championship meet.  The four NAU divers will not  compete in the platform event, which is scheduled for Saturday. March 13.

Divers in the five zones around the country all reached qualifying scores during the 2009-10 season as set by the NCAA.  Divers can only qualify for the NCAA Championships at Zones. 

The NCAA Championships will be held from March 18-20 in West Lafayette, Ind.  Zone E includes divers from many of the top West Coast conferences including the Pac-10, WAC, Mountain West, Big West, and Big Sky Conferences.


2010 NCAA Zone E Regional Diving Championships – Austin, Texas

Thursday, March 11
Women's 1m Prelims - 11-1:30 pm (MT)
Women's 1m Finals - 1:45-2:45 pm
Men's 3m Prelims - 11-12:30 pm
Men's 3m Finals - 12:45-1:45 pm

Friday, March 12
Men's 1m Prelims - 11-12:30 pm
Men's 1m Finals - 12:45-1:45 pm
Women's 3m Prelims - 11-12:30 pm
Women's 3m Finals - 1:45-2:45 pm

DID YOU KNOW…Student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff combined to volunteer more than 3,800 hours over the 2008-09 academic year, assisting with events like Red Ribbon Week, Relay for Life, Welcome Back Jacks, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Adopt a Family, Climb to Conquer Cancer. In all, the department participated with more than 20 different organizations and/or events.