March 14, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado State finished its 2013-14 diving season Friday at NCAA Diving Zones. All three athletes who represented CSU finished in the top 35, out-performing the 2013 top score on 3-Meter Springboards by five positions.
“I thought all three of the girls did well today,” head diving coach Kevin Witt said. “It was hard today; the competition was really tough. I’m impressed with all three of them, though. They hung in there and did very well against the level of competition that we were up against.”
Ariana Milone took the top score of the day, finishing 23rd with a score of 269.75. The sophomore easily surpassed her 2013 score of 41th.
Up against the top divers from 25 schools, the competition was fierce for every position. Milone was only 6.4 points short of finishing in the top 18 and reaching the finals.
“Ariana did really well,” Witt said. “She again had just one miss in the event that probably cost her top 18. One little miss on anything can cost you. That’s how close it is and how good everyone is. She did a lot better than yesterday, and a whole lot better than last year.”
Melissa Bollig and Paige Greely also earned solid positions in the 3-Meter event. Bollig finished 32nd with 254.05 points and Greely finished close by in 35th with a score of 248.00.
Along with Bollig, Greely and Milone, Mary Kate Hardy also qualified and competed in Zones. Hardy finished 29th on the 1-Meter Springboards on Thursday, the highest finish on the team. Platform Diving will take place Saturday, but CSU will not participate in the event, which is rarely conducted during the Rams' dual meets.
The four athletes were the most representatives CSU has had qualify for Zones in more than a decade and were tied for the second-most in the Mountain West. All four have eligibility remaining.
This week's regional competition tops off a very successful season for CSU diving. The divers have been the most consistent athletes for the Rams, continuously being counted on to score points. Of 16 dual-meet opportunities this season, a CSU diver finished in the top spot 10 times. Even more impressive, CSU swept a diving event on five occasions.
Milone led the team with two Mountain West Diver of the Week awards and earned All-Mountain West honors along with Bollig for 1-Meter diving.
“I think we did a really good job all year,” Witt said. “We still have a really young team. Everyone that we took to Zones this year will return, which is good. There still are areas where we need to get better at. We need to learn to start strong and maintain that through an entire three-day meet. They’re young, and I’ve already been impressed with what they accomplished this year.”
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