March 10, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- On the first day of the Zone B Championships, senior Hannah Moore automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish on the 3-meter springboard, while junior Owen Blank finished seventh on the 1-meter springboard.
Moore was fourth after the 39-woman prelims with a score of 316.55, and she posted a two-round score of 645.90 points. Hannah McElhannon earned 254.75 in the prelims (23rd place) in front of Landon Watters in 24th (253.50), Ann-Perry Blank in 28th (245.00) and Ansley Long in 32nd (237.55).
"Overall it was a great day," said head diving coach Dan Laak. "Hannah did an awesome job. After the conference meet she came back, worked hard and wanted to prove that she deserved to be there (at NCAAs). She did that today, and I am looking forward to next week."
Moore has qualified for NCAAs all four years at Georgia, and this is the third time she has made it through on the first day of Zone competition. She will join her swimming teammates at the NCAAs next Thursday through Saturday in Austin, Texas.
"I just was on today, and I felt it," said Moore. "I knew when I was on the board that I was going to hit the dive, and I did it, and it was so awesome."
The men started competition on 1-meter this morning, and Blank earned a score of 325.85 during prelims and finished with 671.75 points, which was good enough for seventh place. Tim Barrett scored 259.45 points in the prelims, placing him 30th followed by Alex Watson in 33rd place with 253.00.
"The guys did a pretty good job today," said Laak. "I am extremely excited about what Owen did, and he can walk out of here feeling great whether he makes it or not. Seventh place still has a shot to get in, and we are excited to see what happens."
"I feel great about today," said Blank. "Everything went really well and fell into place. My dives during prelims were ok, but I really stuck them in the finals. I'm just going to come out and try to do great tomorrow as well."
The Zone B Championships will continue on Friday with the women competing on 1-meter at 11 a.m. (final at 1:15 p.m.) and the men competing on 3-meter at approximately 3:30 p.m. (final at 5:45 p.m.).