Sophomore All-American diver Brandon Watson took the 3-meter title at NCAA Zone Championships.
AUSTIN -- After the first day at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships, sophomore All-American Brandon Watson finished first on the men’s 3-meter board while senior All-American Tawni Jones finished third on the women’s 1-meter in one of the hardest zones in the country.
“Every single diver dove well today,” said BYU diving coach Keith Russell. “I was pleased to see so many make it to the finals.”
Watson led the Cougars on the afternoon, scoring 410.40 points in the prelims and 813.05 points in the finals to come out on top of the competition with Arizona State, Arizona, USC and Stanford divers following him.
“I felt great today,” said Watson. “I’m glad that I was able to have been so consistent. Being in this position helps me to be more comfortable for the next couple days – I can relax and just do my best for the next couple days.”
“Of course, how can you not be ecstatic that Brandon beat out all the divers from the PAC-10,” said Russell.
Sophomore Sam Hatch, senior Ron Morris and freshman Nic Suder all made it to the finals in the 3-meter event, Hatch finishing 11th (593.15) Morris in 15th (567.75) and Suder in 16th (558.30). Sophomore Travis Day finished 21st in the event with a preliminary score of 241.50.
“It was a tough day for Tawni today,” said Russell. “She scored a 4.5 on a dive that she normally gets a 6.5 or a 7 on and she had to score well in the final round to advance to nationals. But she did a really nice job of coming back and finished third overall.”
After scoring 283.00 points on the 1-meter board in the preliminary round and placing fourth, Jones was able to move up a spot to third with a final score of 597.85 behind two USC divers. Also finaling in the event was sophomore Syrena Miskin who finish 11th (505.50), freshman Mikenna Cloward finished 13th (499.95), and senior Emily Woods finished 15th with a final score of 487.55.
“It was nice to see Syrena Miskin do so well,” said Russell. “I knew she could do as well as she did, but it was nice to see her perform at her very best. Our freshman, Mikenna Cloward, also did a very nice job.”
Senior Ava Jackman finished 23rd (233.00) while freshman Dayna Christensen finished 26th (231.30) on the 1-meter board.
The Cougars will be back on the boards for tomorrow’s competition, the men on the 1-meter board and the women on the 3-meter board. Check back to www.byucougars.com/swimming_diving/ for updates.