Zone meet to carry NCAA Championship implications

Despite lacking many seniors, the IU diving team has made do with what it has. It has captured the women’s and combined team titles at U.S. Diving Winter Nationals and has performed in the top two at both Big Ten Championships.

This weekend, the divers travel to Columbus, Ohio, to continue their season at the Zone Diving Meet. The meet represents a chance for divers to qualify for the NCAA Championship.

IU coach Jeff Huber and his squad have strived all year to put together consistent efforts in each meet, and this is no different.

“For us, that’s what we hope to put together — our most consistent list, because at that meet it’s just going to be consistency,” he said.

Multiple divers have struggled with injury leading up to the meet. Freshman Laura Ryan, who was the highest-placing female diver at U.S. Winter Nationals — she finished eighth in the platform diving and 10th in the springboard competition — might have done damage to a ligament in her thumb at the event. Even with the injury, she managed to win the platform competition at the Big Ten Championships.

Beginning with the women’s 3-meter diving and the men’s 1-meter diving competitions Thursday, the meet will continue Friday with the women’s 1-meter competition and the men’s 3-meter competition.

Junior Gabby Agostino finished first in the women’s 3-meter springboard and freshman Darian Schmidt finished third in men’s 1-meter springboard to qualify for NCAAs on Thursday.

When the team returns Saturday, it will start preparing for the NCAA Championships. The women compete March 17-19, and the men’s championships take place March 24-26.

— Alex McCarthy

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