USA Diving Junior Zones Meets Determine Junior National Qualifiers

KNOXVILLE, TN - August 16, 2014: Zachary Nees during the 2014 USA Senior Diving National Event at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria
Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

By Erin Keaveny, Swimming World Contributor. 

USA Diving’s six junior zone qualifier meets took place over the weekend. At the meet divers compete for the opportunity to advance to the USA Diving Junior National Championships, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on July 29.

This years six zone meets occurred in Lynchburg, Virginia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fresno, California; and Mission Viejo, California.

At each meet, divers compete on 1-meter, 3-meter, and 10-meter.

In each springboard event, the top ten finishers on each board can continue on to the Junior National Meet. Additionally, the top 3 divers on each springboard automatically qualify for semi-finals or finals at Nationals, depending on their age group. It is the same on platform, except only the top seven divers qualify.

Some divers are prequalified for Junior Nationals. For example, the YMCA National Champions on each board in their age group, and members of the tier three High Performance Squad.

Tier three contains the junior members of USA Diving’s HPS, a group that consists of the divers who have exhibited potential to become members of the 2020 Olympic Team. The group is periodically evaluated, and selected members can be added or removed after those reviews. There are currently 38 members of HPS 3.

Heading into the Junior National Meet, the 16-18 age group is typically the most competitive. Additionally, the majority of the prequalified HPS members attending the meet will compete in the 16-18 age group.

From Zone A, the top finishers in the age group on 1-meter were Kate Mullin  and Noah Zawadzki, Mullin and Conor Casey on 3-meter, plus Claire McDaniels and Zawadzki on platform.

The top divers from Zone B 16-18 were Samantha Vear and Emanuel Vazquez on 1m, Aliyah Watson and  Vazquez on 3m, and Vear and Vazquez on platform.

Zone C’s 16-18 gold medalists were Janie Boyle and Lyle Yost on 1m, Morgan Menninger and Yost on 3m, and Maycey Vieta with Jordan Rzepka on platform.

The highest qualifiers in the age group from Zone D are Megan Phillip and Jake Butler on 1m, Jessica Warak and Butler on 3m, and Warak and Ethan Foster on platform.

From Zone E Samantha Tamborski and Jeanpaul Ditto won 1m, Tamborski and Mickey Strauss finished first on 3m, and Tamborski and Trevor Labuda took platform.

Finally in Zone F, the top spots in the 16-18 age group were won by Daria Lenz and Andrew Harness on 1m, Sophia McAfree and Jake Greenberg on 3m, plus McAfree and Harness on platform.