Competition Concludes at 2009 NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals
March 14, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas - Junior Kyle Van Valkenburg (Tucson, Ariz.) claimed a seventh-place finish in the men's platform dive to lead Air Force on the final day of the 2009 NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals, being held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, on the campus of the University of Texas.
Van Valkenburg, a two-time Mountain West Conference champion on the platform, posted a score of 312.65 in the opening round before finishing with a mark of 596.00. His seventh-place showing is one spot higher than his finish at last year's zone meet and the best finish for a Falcon since Brady Lindberg placed fifth on the men's platform in 2006.
Michele Benedetti of Arizona defended his zone title in the men's platform, while UCLA's Tess Schofield captured first place in the women's platform. Benedetti, who also won yesterday's 3-meter event, registered a score of 789.95 to take first place, while USC's Steven Starks (709.70) and Stanford's Brent Eichenseer (681.00) finished second and third, respectively.
Schofield, the Zone E platform champion in 2007, notched a score of 476.90 to earn the title on the women's side, followed by Carmen Stellar of Stanford in second place with 468.25 points. Meanwhile, Victoria Ishimatsu notched her third top-three showing of the week, finishing third with a mark of 456.95.
At the conclusion of the meet, the NCAA qualifiers from Zone E were named. Earning spots for the men were Benedetti, Starks and Eichenseer, along with Dwight Dumais (Stanford), Ben Grado (Arizona) and Harrison Jones (USC). On the women's side, Schofield, Stellar and Ishimatsu were all named qualifiers, along with Emma Friesen (Hawaii), Marisa Samaniego (UCLA), Margaret Hostage (Stanford) and Candice Minette (Nevada).