Two Divers Qualify for NCAA Championships
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Diving team completed the third day of competition at the NCAA Zone 'D' Regionals and now will turn its attention to the men's and women's NCAA Championships.
"On the men's side, Daniel needed to perform well, but at the end of the day his springboard performance is what got him to the NCAA Championships," Diving Coach Shaffer said. "He is one of nine that have qualified from our zone."
The Women's NCAA Championships is slated for March 15-17 at the Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala. The Men's NCAA Championships is scheduled for March 22-24 at the Weyerhaeuser King Co. Aquatic Center in Seattle, Wash.
Helm qualified after punching out a one-meter sixth place finish with a 12-line total of 676.25. Helm posted a preliminary round score of 327.35 and a final round score of 348.90.
Bettridge qualified after scoring a 12-dive total of 578.20 in a fourth place finish on the one-meter. She qualified for the final round after a six-dive preliminary mark of 283.85, and posted a six-dive final total of 294.35.
Both the men's and women's side wrapped up the third day of competition on the platform. The men produced six dives in both the preliminary and final rounds, while the women dove five times in each round.
Only 12 divers were selected to move on to the final round in the platform event.
Senior Matt Vieke manufactured an eighth place finish in his final collegiate competition with a 12-dive total of 580.85. Vieke was in 10th entering the finals after a preliminary score of 262.65.
The Indianapolis, Ind. native improved his overall score with a final round total of 318.20. Vieke's final round total represented the fourth highest mark in the program's history and a new career best.
"Matt was just a stellar student athlete that improved each and every single year," Shaffer said. "He didn't have to dive platform today. He loves his sport and it just shows the character and spirit that Matt has for the sport. He did it for fun. He earned his personal best score in his performance in the second list today. It was a great way for him to end his collegiate career with a pure sense of what this is all about.
Helm registered a sixth place finish with a 12-line total of 638.80. Helm ended the prelims in seventh with a six-dive total of 309.60, and added a final round mark of 329.20. His sixth-place total of 638.80 eclipsed his freshman Zone's mark of 571.00.
Junior Elle Schmidt cranked out a 16th place finish with a total of 217.00, which nearly beat her previous high of 221.95.
Bettridge finished her platform run in 23rd place with a score of 197.25.
"Day three was a good day for us," Shaffer said. "On the women's side, Alex having already qualified for the NCAA Championships just kind of worked some the bugs out. Elle was very competitive and gained a lot of experience."