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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Penn State junior Hector Garcia Boissier (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) punched his ticket to the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships by winning the 3-meter springboard at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships Monday afternoon in Rutgers Aquatic Center.
Garcia posted a 12-dive score of 844.50 points, scoring 428.30 points in the preliminaries and 416.20 points in the finals. By finishing in the top five, he receives one of the zone’s qualification berths.
“Hector saw some great competition from European Junior Champion Jonathan Suckow from Columbia, but never faltered in his pursuit of gold,” said diving coach Dennis Ceppa. “He walked away with the top qualifying spot earning the men's team their first national berth. Hector's consistency today was truly amazing and the performance he put together was fun for all to watch."
Garcia was one of three men’s finalists from Penn State. Senior Connor Scanlon (Laurel, Md.) placed ninth with 668.35 points and junior Jack Crow (Bethesda, Md.) was 14th with 608.65 points. Freshman Bryce Hoch (Hatfield, Pa.) also competed and scored 195.00 points in the preliminaries.
“Our men saw three of the four through to finals today,” said Ceppa. “That in itself is a great accomplishment when you're talking about competing with the best divers in our region.
“Connor Scanlon showed up to finals hungry managing to improve his score 35.65 point over his preliminary total. This shows the poise our senior has.”
The Nittany Lions also had three compete in the women’s 1-meter. Freshman Kamryn Umbel (Potomac, Md.) led the group with 202.30 points and was followed by sophomore Christina Crowell (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) with 199.25.
"Even though Kamryn's dives aren't quite as difficult as our other ladies, her clean form helped to put her on top of our women's results for the day," said Ceppa. "I'm happy to see a freshman taking the reins like this."
The format for the two springboard events consists of six dives for all entered divers with the top-18 finishers from the preliminary round advancing to the finals where each will again perform six dives. Scores from the preliminary round are carried over into the finals. The platform event features all entered divers taking 12 dives.
Zone A will send six men’s divers on the 1-meter, five on the 3-meter and five in platform diving to the national championship, while the women will advance six divers from the 1-meter event, six from the 3-meter and five from the platform competitions to the NCAA meet.
Competition continues Tuesday at noon with the men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter events. Platform diving will be held Wednesday starting at 11 a.m.
Ohio State is hosting the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Mar. 14-17, while Minnesota is hosting the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships Mar. 21-24.