Two Divers Advance to NCAA's as Zone D Concludes
"I'm blessed and fortunate to have athletes that are going to be representing Louisiana State University at the elite collegiate level," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "It is an honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the divers. Now is the fun part, where they get to go and reap the benefits of their dedication throughout the year."
Both national championships will be hosted in Indianapolis, Ind., at the IU Natatorium. The Women's NCAA Championships will span March 21-23 and the Men's NCAA Championships will span March 28-30.
Eight men and seven women emerged from the field to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships through a qualifying process that involved final places on the one-meter, three-meter and platform.
Zone 'D' Region consisted of LSU, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, TCU, Iowa State, Houston, Kansas, SMU, North Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota State, Texas A&M and Missouri State.
Weil placed third on the platform with a 10-line score of 559.65. Weil, who qualified for NCAA's during the first day of competition on the three-meter, notched a prelim score of 299.10, which was the second best score in program history.
"It already is a rewarding meet when you have a male and a female qualifying for the NCAA Championships," Shaffer said. "For Cassie, I tried to paint a picture of putting her in a situation where she could use this as a learning experience going into the national championships. She did 10 dives, and had one small falter on one of them. Right now we are looking at the next level, which is the national championships."
Junior Kevin Leong narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships after ending his platform run in fifth place with a 12-line total of 675.20. Leong totaled a prelim mark of 325.30 and a final mark of 349.90, which is LSU's third best all-time score.
McKinney finished seventh on the platform with a 12-line total of 621.85. McKinney qualified for the NCAA Championships yesterday on the three-meter and completed his platform run with a prelim score of 307.50 and a finals score of 314.35, which tied his career high that he set at the SEC Championships.
"The pressure was off on Sean because he had already made it, but Kevin was on the outside looking in," Shaffer said. "Kevin fought hard and did some really good things. I hope it opens his eyes to what his potential is. He really is on the verge of breaking through."
Freshman Allie Alter scored a 222.30 in the prelims.
For more information as the NCAA Championships approach, please go to LSUsports.net/fancage.