GRANVILLE, Ohio- The 2019 NCAA Division III Diving Regionals will take place on March 1-2, at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana and Denison leads all Region 1 institutions with five qualifiers across both genders.
From the women's team, a program record four individuals will compete led by four-time qualifier Emma Weber, three-time qualifiers Naomi Clayton and Allison Fitzgerald and first-year Mattie Stauss. From the men's team, first-year Liam Simmons will be making his inaugural NCAA Regional appearance after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship on the 1-meter board.
Denison head diving coach Russ Bertram is looking forward to seeing how his group, which consists of both veterans and newcomers, will compete on the big stage.
"We are in one of the larger regions in the country and there is a real chance that all four females could qualify for nationals if they perform well," said Bertram.
Bertram is especially excited for senior Emma Weber who seeking her first berth to nationals. "Emma was really close to qualifying last year and she has worked as hard as anyone I have ever coached. Everyone is pulling for her to qualify."
I believe that both of our first-year men's divers (Simmons and Brendan Downey) have the ability to compete on the national stage," said Bertram. The fact that Liam qualified bodes well for the program moving forward."
Below is a look at all five divers who will compete this weekend. On Friday, March 1, the Women's 1-meter will begin at 2 p.m. followed by the Men's 3-meter at 6 p.m. On Saturday, March 2, the Women's 3-meter will begin at 12 p.m. followed by the Men's 1-meter at 4 p.m. All events will be streamed live by Wabash College.
NCAA Diving Regional at a Glance:
Naomi Clayton will be making her second appearance at the NCAA Diving Regional, having gone last year and placing fifth and tenth in the 1M and 3M events respectively. This season, the junior received a season-best score of 423.9 for the 1M dive, which earned her second place at the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships.
Allison Fitzgerald will be appearing for the third-straight year at the NCAA Diving Regional this weekend. Fitzgerald, a junior, is a four-time All-American and six-time NCAC Champion. She recently picked up her third-straight NCAC Diver of the Year plaque following this year's conference championship. This season, she received season-best scores of 447.4 in the 1M Final and 447.9 in the 3M Final of the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships, earning her first place in both events. At her most recent appearance at the Diving Regionals in 2018, Fitzgerald placed fifth in the 1M dive and eighth in the 3M dive.
Mattie Stauss will be making her first appearance at this year's Diving Regional this weekend. The first-year earned a season-best score of 419.3 in the 1M Prelim/Quarterfinal of the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships.
Emma Weber will be making her fourth-straight appearance at the NCAA Diving Regional, having qualified previously in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The senior is a five-time All-NCAC performer and this season, placed second in the 3M Final of the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championship with a season-best score of 430.8. At last year's NCAA Regional, Weber placed eighth in both the 1M and 3M events.
Liam Simmons has qualified for his first NCAA DIII Diving Regional this year. The first-year earned season-best scores of 458.35, for which he earned first place, in the 1M Final and 397.1 in the 3M Final of this year's NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships.