NAU sent four divers in the NCAA Zone E Championships on March 12, but only two made it to finals in the 1-meter.
After round three, all four of the NAU divers were within the top 25 and still pushed to move toward finals. Senior Tatiana Kurach still lead the Lumberjacks by placing 17th, freshman Emily Sharrer and senior Christiana Torrente tied in 21st and sophomore Jenny Cheetham in 25th.
This is the first time Sharrer competed in zones and only the second time Cheetham had competed, giving the young duo a lot to build from for the future.
Torrente had participated in zones for the fourth time and Kurach’s for her third and final event.
Heading into the final round of the women’s 1-meter championship, Kurach moved up to seventh place, Cheetham to 14th, Torrente in 19th and Sharrer in 26th. Each Lumberjack competed towards finals.
UCLA’s Maria Polyakova finished first in the final round with a score of 320.80.
NAU had two divers place into the 1-meter finals. Kurach placing ninth with a score of 276.10 and Cheetham took 15th with a score of 263.35.
After two rounds in the 1-meter final, Kurach remained in the top eight. This senior looked to make it to the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships for her second time in her career.
Heading into the final and 6th round in the championship, UCLA's Polyakova continued to hold the lead with her score being 582.40.
UCLA Bruin Eloise Belanger took over in first place with a score of 622.90, having a dive with very little splash. But Polyakova came back with a score of 643.50 maintaining her first-place spot in this event.
“This was an exciting event to attend for me, now I know where to begin when I focus on what needs to be worked on. Being a sophomore qualifying for an event like this is amazing for my career," said sophomore Jenny Cheetham. "I can only progress from here and hope to continue qualifying for different events and championships."
None of the NAU divers qualified for day three of the zones. Despite the loss, they are preparing for the National Invitational Championship in Cleveland Ohio March 14 through 16.
“All three of my seniors are amazing in the classroom, as a teammate and as an athlete. They will all be extremely missed and I can only hope for my undergrads to keep moving forward and for NAU to keep recruiting more power to our team,” said diving coach Nikki Huffman.