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March 5, 2012

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AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina senior diver Courtney Forcucci secured a spot in the NCAA Championships for the first time as a Gamecock on Monday at the NCAA Zone B Diving meet at Auburn’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.

Forcucci earned a career-best 12-dive score of 590.35 to finish second in the women’s one-meter springboard finals, giving her one of 10 available qualifying spots to next week’s NCAA Championships, which runs March 15-17 at Auburn. It will mark her third trip to the NCAA Championships overall, as she also qualified while she was at Houston as a freshman and sophomore.

“Getting Courtney in on the first day of qualifying is huge for this team,” South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt said. “Her diving continues to improve. We hope to continue that at nationals.”

Freshman Patricia Kranz joined Forcucci in the one-meter finals but did not earn a qualifying spot, as she placed 18th with a 12-dive score of 506.80.

On the men’s side, freshman Cole Miller had a solid first day despite not qualifying for the NCAA meet. He advanced to the finals of the three-meter springboard competition and finished 14th with a 12-dive score of 683.60.

“Cole finishing 14th and Patti 18th is a great finish for our freshmen,” Sherritt said. “We hope to get them to a higher finish tomorrow. They still have a decent chance to get in.”

Forcucci, Kranz and Miller will be back in action on Tuesday. The men’s one-meter springboard preliminaries are scheduled to begin at noon, followed by the finals at 2:30. The women’s three-meter preliminaries are set for 4:30 p.m., with the finals to follow at 7.