CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.—Two University of Pittsburgh divers—Dominic Giordano and Meme Sharp—secured berths to the 2017 NCAA Championships after tremendous performances Monday on the opening day of action at the NCAA Zone A Diving Meet.
Sharp won the 2017 NCAA Zone A 3-meter diving title with a sensational final six dives. Entering the finals in third after her opening six dives, Sharp jumped ahead of Rutgers’ Addison Walkowiak and UConn’s Alexandra Butera as the Pitt junior finished atop the leaderboard of the 12-dive event with 652.40 points. Sharp will now look to better her 13th-place finish on 3-meter at NCAAs last year.
Giordano, the reigning NCAA champion on men’s 3-meter springboard, placed third in the 1-meter competition with 680.80 points after 12 dives, which gave him one of the six automatic qualifying berths to nationals in the event.
Over the next two days at the NCAA Zone A Diving Meet, Giordano and Sharp can now qualify for further NCAA diving events by placing in the top-12 in Zone A of any other competitions. Giordano will now attempt to advance to nationals in the 3-meter and platform diving events, while Sharp can also qualify for NCAAs on 1-meter.
Pitt’s Joe Ference also executed well in Monday’s men’s 1-meter event. After being an ACC finalist as a freshman in the event, Ference showed further development by just missing out on qualifying for nationals with his ninth-place finish courtesy of 620.60 points on his 12 dives.
“We had three divers today who really had fantastic performances,” Pitt diving coach Julian Krug said of Giordano, Sharp and Ference. “Meme was very solid in the 3-meter prelims with her first six dives and then produced a brilliant finals list to win the event. Dominic was consistently good on 1-meter and definitely earned his trip back to NCAAs. And Joe showed what a bright future he has by finishing in the top-10 on 1-meter in what was a very competitive field. This was a great day for Pitt diving.”
The 2017 NCAA Championships will be held at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind., with the women’s swimming & diving meet taking place from March 16-18, while the men’s swimmers and divers will compete March 23-25.
The NCAA Zone A Diving Meet will resume tomorrow afternoon in Christiansburg, Va., with the men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter events.
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