The stakes are high, and the players seem ready.
The divers on the Arizona swimming and diving teams hope to join their NCAA- qualifying teammates at the Zone E Diving Championships today in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The competition is crucial, as it determines which divers will move on to the NCAA Championships.
Arizona head diving coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha said seniors Daniela Bemme, Claire Febvay and junior John Collier will be the main attractions looking for a berth. "Daniela, John and Claire have been there before, but it's still going to be tough for them to qualify," Rocha said. Mitchell said that each of the three divers is in a good place right now, staying healthy and injury-free.
Febvay competed at the 2004 Olympic Games for France and Bemme is a returning first-team All-American for the 10-meter platform.
Collier recently finished fourth in the 3m competition at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships and seventh in the 1m event. Rocha said the environment is very intense at the Zone E because it includes the best divers in the country in one place. "It's either get through or your season is over," Rocha said. "We are going to need some good quality diving to get through it." The women's NCAA Championships take place March 17-19 in West Lafayette, Ind. The men's championships occur March 24-26 in Minneapolis.