Senior Aaron Russell and the rest of the Cougar diving team will finish the regular season against Stanford on Friday, Feb. 14. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The men's and women's BYU diving teams will host Stanford's diving teams on Friday, February 14, at 1:00 p.m. (MST), in the last diving event of the season before heading into the conference championships next week.
This will be the first time the Cougars have competed against the Cardinals in a regular season competition. Usually the teams only compete at the NCAA Zone qualifiers.
"We are looking forward to this competition because they have a great team," said diving coach Keith Russell. "It gives us a chance to do something with a really great team."
The men's team, led by senior All-American Aaron Russell, have captured first place in both the one-meter and three-meter events at every competition this year. Russell goes into the three-meter event undefeated this season, including a win over Florida State's All-American diver Louie Gagnet on Nov. 22, 2002.
Things could be difficult for Russell as he injured his foot while practicing on the platform Wednesday morning. "We are still competitive with Scott (Randall) and Justin (Beardall)," said Keith. "But Aaron's injured foot hurts our chances."
On the women's side the Cougars have captured 12 of the 14 first place finishes at dual meet competitions this season. In fact the women failed to claim at least one first place finish in a dual meet only once this season. Senior Kelli Einfeldt leads the Cougars with five wins on the three-meter board and three wins on the one-meter.
"We definitely compare with Stanford and that is one reason they are taking the time to come and compete against us," said Keith. "Because of our record Stanford's diving coach knows that we will have something to offer them, it is not very often that Stanford will come out for a competition."
Divers to Watch
Two-time All-American senior Aaron Russell is undefeated in the three-meter event at dual meet competitions, and has placed first in the one-meter in all but one meet this season. Russell has turned in the top scores in the Mountain West Conference on both boards this season: 347.60 on the 1-M, and 378.45 on the 3-M. His scores are also tops over Stanford's best scores of 328.13 and 324.00 in the same events.
Senior Kelli Einfeldt has turned in the top scores of the season in the Mountain West Conference with scores of 292.07 and 474.00 in the 1-M and 3-M events respectively. Einfeldt was the only MWC diver to qualify for the finals in the 3-M event at the Speedo American Cup on Jan. 7. Her high score in the 3-M bests that of Stanford diver McKenze Murphy, but her 1-M score is 2 points under the top finish for Stnaford's Ashlee Rosenthal.