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Hoosiers close Zone C Championships with four diver qualifications



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 IU senior Michal Bower completes her round three dive at the NCAA Diving Zone C Championships. She qualified for the NCAA Championships to be held in Indianapolis later this week. Katie Franke Buy Photos

Despite an uptick in competition, the IU men’s and women’s divers continued their winning ways.

The Hoosiers ended the three-day NCAA Zone C Championships with four of their five divers qualifying for the NCAA Championships and their fifth being a first alternate.

“It was really good and I thought it was really good for our entire team,” junior Jessica Parratto said. “We battled it out and just basically just tried to be consistent through every single dive because every single dive counts as far as qualifying for NCAAs.”

Parratto finished first in the 10-meter platform, second in the 3-meter springboard and third in the 1-meter, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in all three events.

“I just want to have fun and do as many dives as I can vertical,” Parratto said. “So I thought that was really awesome going for Big Tens and then going at my home pool and doing 12 solid dives to qualify myself.”

Teammate senior Michal Bower also performed well, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in both the 1-meter and 3-meter with 11th and third place finishes, respectively.

“Jess being able to win the platform event was great and Michal being right up at the top group there, making A cuts in all the events means that they hopefully are in line to shooting to make the finals at NCAAs,” head diving coach Drew Johansen said.

On the men’s side, junior Michael Hixon and sophomore James Connor lead the Hoosiers. Hixon won the 1-meter and finished second in the 3-meter, while Connor won the 3-meter, was fourth in the 1-meter and finished seventh in the 10-meter platform.

Hixon will dive in the 1- and 3-meter dives at NCAAs and Connor will compete in all three events.

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Junior Cody Coldren finished eighth in the platform, 10th in the 3-meter and 11th in the 1-meter, which according to Johansen qualified him as a first alternate for NCAAs.

“This zone was on the men’s side the hardest zone in the country,” Johansen said. “We had a number of Olympic medalists returning to the zone as well as some great new talent from other schools, so the fact that we were able to handle the all three days the way we did, I was proud of our guys." 

For the Hoosiers, diving from the comfort of their own home proved helpful, as the event was hosted at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center in Bloomington.

“It’s everything,” Parratto said. “Having that meet at your home pool is such an important thing because you don’t have to travel, you don’t have to get away from your home environment. It’s a very comfortable environment and it’s just like any other practice competition at your home pool.”

Next up is the NCAA Championships, which begin Wednesday for the women and go from March 22-25 for the men. Both will take place in Indianapolis.

“The whole year our focus has been about team, about the group pulling together and supporting each other to have great individual performances,” Johansen said. “And we’re going to stay the course on that, it’s been working well for us so far.”

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