Although Florida men’s and women’s diving teams had nine athletes compete at the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association Region B Diving Zones at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, only five divers are heading to the NCAA Championships.
Both of the Gators’ teams traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, from March 5 to March 8.
The divers’ performances at the NCAA’s Diving Zones determined their qualification for the following championships. The Gators finished opening day just short of qualifying in the men’s 1-meter zone.
Junior Anton Svirskyi finished 26th in the preliminary round with 282.79 points.
In his first career Zone competition, freshman Elisha Dees trailed behind Svirskyi in 27th with 280.35 points. Both swimmers missed the qualification mark for the evening finals.
Senior Skip Donald secured 14th in the preliminaries at 321.25 points. In the finals, Donald climbed to 11th place with a final score of 660.90
Senior Leonardo Garcia claimed third in the men’s 1-meter preliminary championship with 366.95 points. He ended in eighth place in the finals while the top seven divers qualified for the NCAA Championships.
On the second day, the Gators left with two qualifications.
In the women’s 1-meter preliminaries, redshirt senior Maha Amer advanced to the finals with 300.75 points. Sophomore Carina Lumia marked 22nd at 250.65 points.
In the finals, Amer secured the Gator’s first ticket to the NCAA Championships. She ranked fifth totaling 596.90 points.
In the men’s 3-meter preliminary dive, Garcia and Donald advanced to the finals. Garcia landed sixth with 376.30 points, and Donald was in ninth place with 364.20 points.
Dees was in 24th place with 318 points, and Svirskyi was in 30th at 289.50 points.
Garcia earned the Gators’ second spot to the championships. The top eight divers qualified in the men’s 3-meter finals, and Garcia finished in seventh with 774.10 total points.
Donald finished tenth with 741.35 points.
The Gators finished the third day with three more tickets to the NCAA Championships.
In the women’s 3-meter preliminaries, Lumia carried sixth place with 314.40 points. Amer took eighth with 308.65 points. Both divers advanced to the finals.
Freshman Casey Greenberg had 259.40 points, taking 26th place.
In the evening finals, Amer secured her second event in the championships. She ranked seventh with 649.45 points.
Lumia placed 12th with 608.10 points.
In the men’s platform preliminaries, Garcia and Donald advanced to the finals. Garcia ranked fourth with 376.05 points. Donald was ninth with 339.25 points.
Dees ranked 21st with 275.50 points.
In the finals, Garcia marked the days’ second qualification. He maintained fourth with a total of 748.20 points.
Donald secured the Gators’ final qualification of the Zone with ninth place at 697.60 points.
On the final day, the women missed the mark for the platform qualifications.
The morning started strong, with all three divers passing from the preliminaries to the finals. Lumia ranked eighth with 268.35 points. Junior Caroline Pagac picked up 14th with 248.75 points. Amer landed 16th at 234.20 points.
In the finals, Lumia fell from eighth to 11th at a final 521.45 points. Amer followed in 12th with 509.60 points. Pagac ended in 16th with 482.70 points.
Amer will return to the same diving boards for the NCAA Championships’ 1-meter and 3-meter dives.
“You train the entire season just for this moment, so there’s a little bit of excitement, a little bit of anxiety…” Amer said in an interview, “This is as prepared as I can be.”
Garcia and Donald will compete in all three events for the championships.
The Women’s NCAA Championships will take place from March 15 to March 18 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Men’s NCAA Championships will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from March 22 to March 25.
Contact Krisha Sanghavi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @krishasang.