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Courtesy: Clyde Click
Kirby Quinn
Blue Devil Divers to Compete at Zones This Week
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/05/2017
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     When: Monday-Wednesday, March 6-8 l All Day 
     Where: James E. Martin Aquatic Center l Auburn, Ala.
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DURHAM, N.C. – Following two weeks of action at the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, nine Blue Devil divers will look to add to the potential NCAA Championships rosters this week at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships, hosted by Auburn Monday through Wednesday.

Divers from the states in Zone B will compete in the one-meter, three-meter and platform events, with a select number of men’s and women’s divers advancing to the NCAA Championships later this month in Indianapolis. A total of five zone competitions will be contested around the country this week, with NCAA qualifiers moving on to the women’s championship March 15-18 and the men’s championship March 22-25.

The top five female and top four male divers in each event within the five zones will be eligible to compete at the NCAA Championships. Additional divers may qualify based on the number of student-athletes from a particular zone who finished in the top 16 of that event at last year’s NCAA Championships. At NCAAs, a diver may compete in any of the three disciplines provided that he or she earns one of the invitation spots and places in the top 12 of the other two events at the Zones meet.

The breakdown of Zone B qualifying spots for 2016-17 is as follows:
Women: 10 1M/9 3M/ 7 Platform
Men: 8 1M/ 10 3M/ 9 Platform

Freshman Nathaniel Hernandez qualified for Zones in all three events and is coming off of a pair of top-eight finishes at his first ACC Championships last month in Atlanta. He was fifth in the one-meter finals, eighth on the three-meter board and 15th in the platform preliminaries. In only his first collegiate season, Hernandez has etched his name on the program’s all-time performance list in all three events, ranking second all-time in the platform behind only Nick McCrory with an award of 371.70.

Sophomores Evan Moretti and Josh Owsiany are also eligible to compete in all three events this week in Auburn. Moretti was top-20 at all three heights during the ACC Championships and last year was one of just two freshmen to advance to the men’s three-meter finals at the NCAA Championships, earning honorable mention All-America accolades. Owsiany placed just outside the top eight in the three-meter preliminaries two weeks ago in Atlanta and added a 19th-place finish on the platform and a 20th-place finish on the one-meter board.

On the women’s side, junior MaryEllen Targonski is entered in all three events this week at Zones. The ACC Championships saw her reach the platform finals for the third consecutive season, where she finished sixth overall (243.50). Targonski also scored in both springboard events at the conference meet and continues to rank second in program history on the platform (286.85).

The Blue Devils’ sophomore tandem of Lizzie Fitzpatrick and Mackenzie Willborn is also qualified for Zones on all three disciplines. Willborn was ninth on the three-meter board at ACCs and was also 12th on the platform and 14th on the one-meter board. Fitzpatrick impressed in her ACC Championships debut after missing last year’s meet due to injury. She took 11th on the platform and 14th at the three-meter height.

Freshman Jaina Gaudette earned qualifying marks in all three events during her first season at Duke and posted the highest platform score among the Blue Devil women this season with an award of 251.78 points in a dual meet against Virginia.

Senior Kirby Quinn heads to Auburn eligible in both springboard events after impressing throughout the season. Quinn took 10th on the one-meter board at ACCs and was 15th on both the three-meter springboard and the platform. She recorded Duke’s highest one-meter score of the season, an award of 286.13 in the Blue Devils’ historic dual meet victory over North Carolina in January.

Redshirt senior Jaimee Gundry is qualified to compete on the platform, surpassing the Zones standard with a season-best score of 246.23 in the regular season meeting with the Cavaliers.

Monday’s events in Auburn include the preliminaries and finals of the men’s one-meter and women’s three-meter events. The women take to the one-meter and men to the three-meter boards Tuesday, followed by both platform competitions Wednesday. Diving begins at 12 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and at 11 a.m. Wednesday.