Wong, Smith qualify for NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas freshman Mike Wong and junior Brian Smith assured themselves of bids to the NCAA Championships Friday by participating in the opening day of the NCAA Zone "D" Diving Meet at UT's Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
With only seven men competing and seven NCAA bids available in Zone D, each male diver was virtually assured of a bid to compete at the NCAA Championships simply by competing in the zone meet. Wong (Cerritos, Calif.) placed third in the one-meter event with a score of 565.25, which would have landed him a NCAA bid even if the men's field was larger than seven divers.
Junior Brian Smith's (Carrollton, Texas) sixth-place finish at 522.70 would not have guaranteed him a NCAA bid with a larger field of men's divers, but his participation solidified his berth to compete at the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
"Both of these guys stepped it up on their second lists, and that is key at this particular event," said UT diving coach Matt Scoggin. "They get two tries to add points to their totals at this meet, and they both did a good job of improving the second time around. They will continue to do so Saturday and Sunday."
Texas A&M's Eric Sehn claimed the one-meter event with a total of 635.20, and Missouri's Greg DeStephen placed second at 615.85.
The men's portion of the NCAA Zone "D" Diving Meet continues Saturday with the three-meter event set to begin at 4 p.m. Central, following the women's one-meter event, which begins at noon.