Divers Finish Strong at the Speedo American Cup
BLOOMINGTON -- The preliminary round of the Speedo American Cup ended Wednesday with seven divers who have current or former ties to BYU placing in the top 25.
Senior Kelli Einfeldt was the only Cougar from this year's team to qualify for the finals to be held Jan. 10-12. Einfeldt captured a 12th place finish on the 3-meter board with a score of 215.55. She was also the only woman from the current roster to compete in the invitational.
For the men, senior Aaron Russell, a two-time All-American, had a strong outing finishing 11th in the 44 man field with a score of 302.45. However, the men's field was so tight that Russell's score was not enough to qualify for the finals.
Senior Justin Beardall, and sophomore Scott Randall also made the trip, finishing 24th and 23rd, with scores of 263.20 and 247.40, respectively.
The Cougars returned home after the competition and will not stay for the finals because the invitational finishes on Sunday.
Former Cougars Rachelle Kunkel, Justin Wilcock, and Andy Bradley were also on hand for the preliminary rounds.
Kunkel, a former two-time All-American at BYU, finished in the top spot for the women, winning the 3-meter event with a score of 287.05.
Wilcock and Bradley both dove for BYU last year, and each received All-American honors. Bradley turned in a score of 327.40, good enough for eighth place.
Wilcock, last year's Mountain West Conference champion in all three diving events, claimed the ninth spot with a 312.80 score. Wilcock has already qualified for the finals of the American Cup on the platform due to his performances earlier this year.
The divers will be back in action this weekend as the men will look to help the No. 22 men's swim team battle No. 24 Washington University on Friday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Stephen L. Richards Building. The women also hope to help the women's swim team as they play host to Oregon State University on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m.
PROVO -- After taking the last four weeks off from competition to train during the holiday break, the Cougar men's and women's diving teams will be back in action this week as they travel to Indiana University to participate in the inaugural Speedo American Cup, on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The competition on Jan. 7 is to qualify those divers not already selected to participate in the formal competition on Jan. 10-12. Contestants were invited to participate in the meet based upon previous performances at meets already this year.
Qualified participants will compete in a head-to-head diving competition pairing two men and two women against each other in the 3-meter event. The platform will be the standard preliminary, quarterfinal and final cuts.
A maximum of 24 individual divers in 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform and eight synchronized teams will compete in the Speedo American Cup.
In attendance at the Speedo American Cup is expected to be the 2000 Olympic platform gold medalist Laura Wilkinson, as well as 2000 Olympians Troy Dumais, and Sara Hildebrand.
The Last Cougar Competition
For the Cougars, the last time they hit the water was Dec. 6 and 7 as the team played host for the BYU Diving Invitational.
Senior diver Aaron Russell swept both diving events, winning the 1-meter and 3-meter boards at the Invitational that saw divers from Colorado State, Utah, and UNLV come to compete in the two-day event.
Russell's performance earned him Mountain West Conference Diver of the Week honors for the second time this season. Russell has also posted the top performances in the MWC this year and is undefeated in competition this season.