Matt Denkers takes first place in the 3-meter event at the first day of the Air Force Diving Invitational. (Photo by Jarren Wilkey/ BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Four of BYU's men divers finished in the top eight during the 3-meter event at the Air Force Invitational at Colorado Springs on Friday.
“The men’s dive team did terrific today,” BYU head dive coach Tyce Routson said. “All of the men performed well in the preliminaries and improved in the finals. Four of the men reached the finals, with Matt Denkers winning the entire event, Kevin Dreesen taking third, Eric Muir in seventh and Jordan Tuckfield ending in eighth place”.
In the 3-meter preliminary event, Denkers ranked third overall (362.60), trailing Josiah Purss from Utah. Just a week before, in a BYU versus Utah meet, Purss took first in the 3-meter board. Today in the finals, Denkers claimed the top spot with a score of 338.95.
Dreesen achieved a 328.30 preliminary score and finished with a total of 335.70. Muir was consistent throughout the day, posting an initial score of 295.85 and ending with 296.80. Tuckfield began the meet in the preliminary with 278.85 and finished with 289.90.
All four of the above-mentioned men have received zone cuts that qualify them to participate in the Zone E Diving Championships that will take place at the beginning of March.
“For the women’s team, they had a challenging day because of the length of the meet,” Routson said. “There were 66 women that contested in the 1-meter and 62 on the platform. Throughout the day, there was a lot of improvement and I am proud of them for hanging in there and performing well”.
Many of the participating schools have a platform board where the divers can practice their routines. The BYU dive team does not have consistent access to this type of board, so the athletes have minimal time to practice and prepare for the platform competition.
Keyka (Erica) Lienhard placed 23rd in the women’s platform event and scored 183.90. Morgan Mellow took 38th, posting a 169.25 score.
Mellow scored highest of the lady Cougars in the 1-meter event, placing 31st in the preliminaries (220.45), with Lienhard placing 39th with a score of 211.25
Events will resume on Saturday, Jan. 28, beginning at 7 a.m. MST, with 14 schools participating and 90 total divers competing. The men will be participating in the 1-meter and platform events and the women will be competing in the 3-meter. Results and scores can be found on the schedule page.
Day 1 Results