COLUMBIA, MO -- Texas A&M sophomore diver Jaele Patrick (Lilydale, Victoria, Australia) punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in College Station next weekend thanks to a third-place performance on the three-meter springboard at the Zone D Diving Championships on Friday.
Patrick finished third comfortably on the three-meter with a score of 624.85. The only two divers to beat Patrick on Friday were the only two that had surpassed her in any competition since she arrived in Aggieland during the winter break. Olympic medalist Anastasia Pozdniakova of Houston won the competition with a score of 763.55 while 2007 NCAA champion Jessica Livingston of Texas was second at 649.30.
All four of A&M’s female divers finished in the top 18 among the 28 diver field at the Zone D meet. Big 12 finalist Lorena Lujan (San Antonio) was the Aggies’ next best finisher after Patrick, taking 11th after totaling up 565.25 points. Sophomore Emily Watson (Frisco) finished two spots behind Lujan after racking up a score of 545.40. Junior Haley Haynes (The Woodlands) placed 18th with a total of 495.70.
With Patrick earning a spot to the NCAA Championships, that gives the Aggies a total of 14 athletes qualified for the year’s most important meet. Sophomore Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.) has moved from third alternate to second alternate for the NCAA meet in the past week meaning she still has an outside shot at giving the Aggies a 15th athlete. The NCAA maximum number of athletes eligible to qualify for the NCAA meet for any given school is 18. A&M’s current total of 14 is already a school record.
The Zone D Diving Championships will continue on Saturday with the one-meter springboard which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Mizzou Aquatic Center. All four Aggie divers will compete in hopes of improving their position in the formulaic order for qualifying for the NCAA Championships.