Cui, Celaya-Hernandez Qualify Again
Communications Student Assistant
MINNEAPOLIS – Juan Celaya-Hernandez and Lizzie Cui continued to shine on the boards on day two of the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Regional. Celaya-Hernandez took silver on one-meter, and Cui finished third on three-meter. With the results, both will compete on both springboards at the NCAA Championships.
“Juan and Lizzie put together two solid performances today,” said LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer. “The pressure was off for them. They knew what they needed to do to qualify and met the standards easily.”
Cui, after winning on one-meter yesterday, needed a top-12 finish today to compete on three-meter at next week’s NCAA Championships. Cui finished the prelims in second place with a score of 352.00. Cui posted a 350.50 in the finals for a two-list score of 702.50 and a third place finish. Cui will now compete on both springboards at the NCAA Championships, and with a top-12 finish on platform tomorrow, Cui will compete in all three events.
Rileigh Knox and Makayla Robillard just missed out on the 18-woman three-meter finals today. At 288.20, Knox finished 19th, and Robillard finished 20th with a score of 285.85. Both will have to finish in the top nine tomorrow to qualify.
“Rileigh concluded her season on a high note,” said Shaffer. “This was her best performance at this level, and the hard work has paid off. Makayla was a tad tenative in parts of her list, but has another opportunity on platform tomorrow.”
Juan Celaya-Hernandez, like Cui, needed a top-12 finish to move on to the NCAA Championships. The Mexico native finished the one-meter prelims in second at 376.45. Celaya-Hernandez was able to maintain his podium position throughout the finals, finishing second with a two-list score of 766.30 and securing a spot at the NCAA Championships.
Matthew McClellan also made the one-meter finals, finishing the prelims in 12th place with a score of 330.00. McClellan needed a top-nine finish to qualify, and fell just short with a 10th place finish and a score of 676.00.
“I’m absolutely gutted for Matt,” said Shaffer. “He is so close and he works so hard. At the same time, these are his best performances of the year, and it’s a huge improvement from last year.”
“Matt is a fighter,” Shaffer explained. “He will give it his all tomorrow on platform. He excels the higher he goes. This is his forte, and he will compete to the best of his ability to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships.”
The meet continues tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT with platform for both the men and women.
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Order of Events (11 a.m. start time):
Wednesday, March 7