March 1, 2007
ATHENS, Ga. - The entire Lady Vol diving team will participate in the NCAA Zone "B" Championships this weekend, March 2-4, at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. Senior Brittany Fulmer and juniors Lauren LeRoy and Vicky Linnell are making return trips to zones, while sophomore Staley McCartney will be competing in her first NCAA event. Each will be vying for one of the 11 spots which will advance to the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., from March 8-10.
"We are extremely pleased and excited that we have all four Lady Vol divers qualified for the NCAA Zone meet," Lady Vol Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington said. "Lauren LeRoy has proved all year long she will be a strong contender for qualification."
LeRoy earned her first qualifying score in the first meet of the season against Louisville on Oct. 20, 2006, by registering a 313.58 from the three-meter board. The two-time SEC Diver of the Week continued to post qualifying scores from both the one- and three-meter heights throughout the season. Fulmer also earned entry to the NCAA Zone meet with scores from both springboards.
Linnell posted qualifying scores from all three heights (one-meter, three-meter and platform) over the course of the season, while McCartney's career-best 228.25 total from the platform in the Bulldog Invitational (Feb. 18) qualified the sophomore for her initial NCAA appearance.
"I feel really good about the opportunity for all of us here," Parrington said. "Although Vicky has been strong on platform she is a viable contender on springboards as well, but we'll be really pulling for the platform event. This is also the same with Staley. We look forward to some strong competition and hopefully we can come back with some qualifiers."
Also traveling to Athens are divers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, North Carolina State, North Florida, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
"We will be competing against an extremely tough field in addition to the schools from the Southeastern Conference. There are some extremely strong divers from the Atlantic Coast Conference, particularly Miami and Florida State. The other schools have strong programs too. We really have to be on our game to get the job done."
There are five zone competitions taking place this weekend at different locations across the country with the top 41 female divers qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Eleven of those will come from Zone "B."
The springboard events will be contested on Friday and Saturday, starting at noon, while the platform competition will be held at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday. LeRoy, Linnell and McCartney will be entered in all three events, while Fulmer will compete from the one- and three-meter boards only.