Swimming & diving preview: CSU heads to NCAA diving zones

March 6, 2012

By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo.--Senior Shayna Solomon will represent the Rams at the Zone E diving qualifying meet for NCAA championships at the Cadet Natatorium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday. Competition begins at 11 a.m. with 1-meter springboards. Admission is free to the public.

Across the nation there are five zones, each zone will qualify a select number of athletes to go to the NCAA championships. Zone E is allowed eight spots total in the championships for the top athletes from the 1- and 3-meter springboard and platform competitions.

Solomon has qualified for both the 1- and 3-meter events repeatedly throughout the 2011-12 season, but will only be competing in 1-meter.

"We made the decision to train her this past week and a half exclusively on 1-meter," Witt said. "1-meter has definitely been her best event since she's been here. She's more comfortable with it. She can be more aggressive. And she feels like she has a better shot in that event. So focusing on that one event will definitely help her."

Solomon is fresh from the Mountain West championships where she received all-conference honors for the second year in a row for her performance in the 1-meter springboard. Solomon finished seventh with a score of 258.95 after coming back from eighth place in the prelims.

"I think that it helps her to focus on one event so that she's not going between boards," Witt said. "She's been able to focus in on one or two mechanical things that will help her. And she'll head in being rested and feeling good and confident in what she's doing."

For her last opportunity on collegiate-level boards, Solomon hopes to claim a position in the finals, which are the top-18 scores in each prelim.

"I think both of us would like to see her make the finals," Witt said.  "That's been a goal every time we've gone and she's achieved it both times, as a freshman and sophomore. I think there are about 44 competitors in the Pack 12, from our conference and some random teams that are in this zone. So there's a lot of good competition it just depends on who is diving the best."

The complete competition will be held Thursday through Saturday with the group of qualifiers for the NCAA championship being announced Saturday.