Friday, March 20, 2009

KU’s Mertz seventh in NCAA diving


— Kansas University sophomore Erin Mertz earned All-American status with her seventh-place finish on the one-meter board Thursday night at the NCAA swimming and diving championships. Mertz scored 298.40 points.

Mertz became the first Jayhawk to earn All-American status since Kristin Nilsen accomplished the feat in 1998 with her 15th-place performance in the 200 yard breaststroke. Mertz is the first diver to earn the honor since Michelle Rojohn won the three-meter diving event in 1996. The top eight divers at the NCAA championships earn All-American status.

Mertz’s 298.40 points on the one-meter board were the best by any Jayhawk diver this year. She qualified for the finals with a seventh-place finish earlier in the day when she tallied 284.35 points.

Houston’s Anastasia Pozdniakova won the competition with 351.15 points. Kathryn Kelly of Texas finished with 300.10 points, just 1.70 points ahead of Mertz for sixth-place and the top finish from the Big 12 Conference.

Today, KU senior Maria Mayrovich will participate in the 200-yard freestyle, and sophomore Iuliia Kuzhil will participate in her lone NCAA event, the 100-yard backstroke. Mertz will dive on the three-meter board today and the platform on Saturday.


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