September 16, 2019 | 65° F

Divers cap season at Zones

Photo by Keith Freeman |

Sophomore diver Nicole Scott, who finished eighth in the 3-meter at the Big East Championships, prepares for her possible season finale tomorrow at the Zone?Diving Championships.

While it has been nearly a month since Nicole Scott last competed on the boards, the sophomore diver was thankful for the practice time it gave her and her teammates.

“I think it actually helped us this year because at [the Big East Championships] we all did really well,” Scott said. “But there were things we needed to fix, so this has given us time to focus on the details of our dives and try and get them completely solid.”

The time in the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center pool will come in handy tomorrow, when the Rutgers diving team begins competition in the Zone Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

Schools from the East Coast will send their divers to the regional Zone A Championship. Each athlete has an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championships from March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala.

The last time the Scarlet Knights took to the water was Feb. 12 at the Big East Championships in Pittsburgh. Head diving coach Fred Woodruff wished there was a little less time between now and the last time the Knights competed.

“The girls are doing well,” Woodruff said. “I think we addressed a few things that I think will help them dive a little better possibly in this meet. But it’s also been a month out of competition, so it’s also a little funky that way, too. They’re kind of biting at the bit to go.”

The Knights have a reason to be excited to get back in the water. In the diving portion of the Big East Championships, the team placed third with 52 points, behind Notre Dame and eventual conference swimming and diving champion Louisville.

But a performance that did not count toward the Knights’ score at the conference championships will aid Scott the most.

The Toronto native earned bronze in the platform event in Pittsburgh. The dive has been a major focus during their break for Scott and her teammates.

“We’ve been practicing a lot of our dives like doing a lot of repetitions of our dives on all the boards,” Scott said. “We’ve been focusing a lot on our platform dives, too, because we haven’t practiced that a lot during the year, and it’s a bigger focus for Zones.”

The 3-meter dive will also be a major event for Rutgers. Freshman Nicole Honey placed eighth in the 3-meter event during the league championships while Scott finished ninth. Sophomore Valentina Gordon scored a 13th-place finish, which gave the Knights three top-15 places in the event.

“They’re looking pretty good and pretty consistent,” Woodruff said, “so I’m looking forward to it.”

By Bradly Derechailo

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