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Denison divers land in top-10 to open NCAA Regionals

Naomi Clayton  |  Photo by Craig Hicks
Naomi Clayton | Photo by Craig Hicks

CHICAGO--  Denison University qualified three women's divers to the NCAA Division III Region 1 Diving Championship at the University of Chicago and through one of two boards, all three competitors posted top-10 finishes.

Friday's competition was the women's 3-meter and sophomore Allison Fitzgerald placed second out of 18 entries.  Emma Weber finished in eighth place while Naomi Clayton took 10th.

Fitzgerald posted an 11-dive score of 451.30, marking a 21.30 improvement over her score at last year's NCAA Regional.  Fitzgerald finished ninth at last year's NCAA Division III Championship on the 3-meter board.  Today, Fitzgerald earned her top score on her most difficult dive, an inward 2 ½ somersault tuck (405C).  Seven of her 11 dives earned at least 42.00 points and all but her first three dives had a degree of difficulty of 2.0 or higher.  Only Calvin's Sarah Bradley who won the event with a score of 462.55 bested Fitzgerald.

Weber finished with an 11-dive score of 402.60 in her third career NCAA Regional appearance.  Her highest scoring dive came on her sixth attempt, a reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck with a 2.8 degree of difficulty. She totaled a score of 43.40 on the dive.

For Clayton, this marked her first appearance in NCAA Regional competition. She was coming off a second-place on the 3-meter board at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships.  On Friday she turned in a 10th place finish after an 11-dive score of 390.45.  Clayton closed strong with her final two dives earning scores of 44.00 and 42.00, respectively.  Her top scoring dive was a 44.55 that came on her sixth attempt, an inward 2 ½ somersault tuck with a 2.7 degree of difficulty.

Fitzgerald, Weber and Clayton will return to the Myers-McLoraine Pool on the campus of the University of Chicago on Saturday, March 3 for the 1-meter dive.

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