6 divers advance to national championships


Junior Conor Murphy dives in the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships on March 1 in Bloomington. Murphy earned a spot at the NCAA Championships, which is set to begin this coming weekend at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Clayton Moore

Six IU divers qualified for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the 2013 NCAA Zone C Diving Championships in West Lafayette this past week.

Senior Amy Cozad became an NCAA qualifier after winning the platform event with a score of 697.30 in a combined semifinal and final finish, while junior Kate Hillman took second place with 609.80 points. Hillman also qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Cozad had competed earlier in the week in the 3-meter championships, but could not qualify after a sixth place finish. She had to wait until the final day of competition to clinch her spot at NCAAs.

“Getting sixth on the 3-meter was just to get myself into my competitive attitude,” Cozad said. “I’m not great at springboard, but I’m as good as I need to be usually, so by the time platform comes I’m ready to go.”

IU Diving Coach Jeff Huber reminded Cozad to focus on the process rather than the outcome and to focus on one dive at a time.

“I’ve dedicated a lot of time for this sport that I love,” Cozad said. “At the NCAA tournament, I want to show everyone what I’ve been working so hard at.”

On the men’s side, junior Conor Murphy finished first in the platform event with a score of 921.65. Second-place finisher sophomore Danton Rogers was more than 200 points behind Murphy with a score of 691.90. Both qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Junior Darian Schmidt also qualified after finishing second on the 3-meter event with a score of 799.60.

“I felt flat this week at the zone meet,” Schmidt said. “The meet is so long and there are so many divers that it’s just tiring.”

Schmidt said he hopes to break the 1-meter and 3-meter school records and snag a medal in the process at the NCAA tournament.

After placing fourth in the 1-meter, junior Emad Abdelatif qualified for one of the nine available spots.

The NCAA Championships will take place from March 21-23 for the women and from March 28-30 for the men. Both meets will be held at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.

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