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March 14, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina sophomore diver Taryn Zack earned her second straight berth in the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships next week with her second-place finish in the one-meter event at the NCAA Zone B Diving Regional. The SEC Champion in the one-meter event, Zack struggled in the three-meter competition Friday but came on strong in the latter stages of the one-meter event today.

“Taryn didn’t really have a great meet,” head diving coach Todd Sherritt said, “but she showed a ton of heart on the one-meter after what happened yesterday. And she came back from two missed dives in the prelims – she was 11th or 12th at one point – but fought her way back to second. I’m really proud of the way she fought.”

Zack finished with a 12-dive score of 569.85, 30 points behind event winner Jenna Dreyer of Miami and one point ahead of the Hurricanes’ Brittany Viola. Duke’s Abby Johnston was fourth at 565.20, and Florida’s Kara Salamone was fifth at 558.30.

She will look to add to her All-America certificate collection next week in College Station, Texas, as South Carolina’s lone entrant in the national meet. The sophomore from Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, earned All-America honors last season with her eighth-place finish in the three-meter event and her 11th-place showing in the one-meter competition at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Also with a strong showing was Helen Alvey, a freshman from Marietta, Ga., who turned in an eighth-place effort in her first NCAA Zone competition with a score of 531.15.

“Helen did an amazing job,” Sherritt said. “The judges liked her diving a lot, and she made a statement that she’s going to be around for a while for us.”

Sophomore Allison Barr finished just out of the finals with a preliminary score of 236.25, good enough for 24th place. Barr will be the lone competitor for South Carolina on Sunday in the platform diving competition. Junior Morgan Ricke was 44th with a 186.90.

Ryan Kuser equaled his finish from Friday’s one-meter event, turning in a 31st-place effort (269.70) on the three-meter board.

The women’s NCAA Championships get underway Thursday, March 19, at the Student Rec Center Natatorium of Texas A&M University.