Sports

Stanford divers take aim at NCAA qualifying

 

Should the Stanford women or men's swimming teams fare very well at their respective NCAA Championships in the coming weeks, a handful of Cardinal divers may have a say in just how high those finishes will be.

Stanford will compete in the three-day Zone Regional Championships that start Thursday in Minneapolis.

The Cardinal women are looking to secure at least one of the six spots for the NCAA Championships that start on March 17 in Austin, Texas, while the men are looking for one of eight spots for the championships in Minneapolis starting on March 24. There are 10 men's teams competing and 20 women's squad equating to 27 men and 53 women diving over the three-day competition.

Stanford head coach Dr. Rick Schavone has placed a diver in the top 16 at the national meet in 26 of the past 28 years.

Stanford seniors Brent Eichenseer and Meg Hostage are both returning All-Americans. Eichenseer has competed at the past two NCAA Championships, placing 13th in the platform in 2009. Both were January Pac-10 Divers of the Month.

Hostage was an All-American twice as a freshman in 2008, in the platform and one-meter. She won the platform title at Pac-10s two weeks ago, her second conference title. She has competed at NCAA's all three seasons. She was a runnerup in the platform as a freshman and 13th in the one-meter for her only top-16 finishes.

Both divers helped their respective teams win conference titles -- the women, their second-straight; the men, their 30th-straight last weekend.

At one point this season, Hostage won seven-straight competitions, scoring a best of 334.65 against USC in the three-meter and 337.75 against UCLA in the one-meter. She won the platform with a score of 322.65.

The women placed four women in the top five across the three conference events -- the one-meter, three-meter and platform. Hostage was also third in the one-meter, while Kyle Rosenstock (fifth in the one-meter) and Stephanie Phipps (fourth in the three-meter) also finished in the top-five.

Phipps' best score of 335.45, came in the three-meter prelims at Pac-10s, was actually the top Stanford score of any female diver in the event. Phipps though scored a 321 in the finals to place fourth. Rosenstock's score of 291.10 was a season-best at Pac-10s for fifth, while Phipps scored a best of 299.93 at ASU earlier this year. Jennifer Wylie, a sophomore, also nearly made the final eight in the platform at Pac-10s, falling off to tenth with a score of 199.20.

On the men's side, Stanford had 10 divers place in the top-10. Eichenseer and freshman Dhruv Tyagi reached finals of all three events. Eichenseer finished as high as third in the platform, Tyagi was fifth in the platform and one-meter. Noah Garcia was ninth in the three-meter, tenth in the one-meter and seventh in the platform.

Stanford has four male divers in the three-meter, and three in the one-meter, who have scored 350.00 or better this season.

This year Eichenseer swept dual meets with Arizona and Arizona State and dropped the one and three-meters with USC's Harrison Jones. He also won the three-meter and platform at the Bruin Invite. He was second in the three-meter at BYU's Invite.

Eichenseer's best scores came at Pac-10s, with a 388.10 in the three-meter and 374.85 in the platform. Tyagi's best was 351.00 in the one-meter at Pac-10s, for fifth and 294.00 in the platform. Garcia has a best of 359.55 at the Bruin three-meter and 314.70 at the Bruin one-meter. Sishc's top score is 364.15 during the Pac-10s prelims of the three-meter. Sishc also scored a 353.70 in the one-meter at ASU.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/Niall Adler of Stanford Sports Information

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