March 11, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Georgia's Laura Ryan won the women's 3-meter springboard competition at the Zone B Diving Championships on Tuesday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center to clinch a berth in next week's NCAA Championships.
Ryan, the two-time SEC champ on 3-meter, rolled up 720.25 points in two rounds on Tuesday (353.35 in prelims and 366.90 in finals) to claim the title. Ann-Perry Blank placed sixth with 659.05 points (324.25, 334.80) and Darcie O'Brien finished 33rd with 235.80 points in prelims.
Ryan now advances to the NCAAs, which will be held March 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn. Ryan is a native of Elk River, Minn., which is less than an hour from Minneapolis. She is eligible to compete on all three boards at the NCAAs. Ryan and the Lady Bulldogs will be going for their second straight NCAA title.
Ryan, Paige McCleary of Alabama and Cheyenne Cousineau of Miami punched their tickets to the NCAAs on Tuesday. Seven of the nine women's spots from Zone B now have been clinched, with only Tuesday's platform competition remaining. The top two finishers are guaranteed berths unless they already hold qualifying spots. If that happens, the next ones to move up are third on platform, fifth on 1-meter and sixth on 3-meter (which is Blank's top finish thus far).
In the men's 1-meter springboard competition on Tuesday, Spencer Madanay placed 21st with 273.00 points. Five of the six Zone spots available to the men have been claimed, with only platform remaining. The men's NCAAs will be held March 27-29 in Austin, Texas, and the invited swimmers list will be announced on Wednesday.