Brooke Madden stepped onto the diving board, stared down at the pool and jumped. This could’ve been the final dive performed by a Gator in 2017-18.
The sophomore finished ninth in the women’s platform final on Wednesday at the NCAA zone diving championships in Knoxville, Tennessee. Those 465.95 points punched her ticket to the women’s NCAA Championships, much to the delight of her coach.
"Today was a testament to the hard work we put in all season,” diving coach Bryan Gillooly said. “It came down to toughness and guts.”
Freshman Emma Whitner finished 14th in the platform final with a score of 432.90, which did not qualify her for the NCAAs.
For the men, redshirt senior Dalton Goss recorded a 13th-place finish in the men’s platform final with 576.55 points. Sophomore Alex Farrow also failed to advance to the NCAAs.
However, Gillooly considered the event an overall success for Florida as it sent one of its divers to the national stage.
“I am so proud of this team,” Gillooly said. “With Brooke being one of the only three event qualifiers in our zone as a sophomore, the future looks great for Gator diving."
The women’s NCAA Championships run from March 14 to 17 in Columbus, Ohio. Eight female UF swimmers have qualified for the event.
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Sophomore diver Brooke Madden earned a spot in the women's NCAA Championships with her performance on Wednesday.