March 8, 2016
ATLANTA, Ga. – Senior Lauren Lamendola added her name to the list of Gamecocks who will compete at the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships on Tuesday night as the University of South Carolina finished the second day of the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships. Lamendola earned the last automatic qualification spot in the women’s 3-meter dive, while teammates Julia Vincent and Jordan Gotro added events to their NCAA schedules with strong performances on Tuesday.
With her effort on Tuesday, Lamendola secured NCAA spots in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Vincent and Gotro will also perform in both springboard competitions. The trio will compete alongside swimming teammates Akaram Mahmoud (men’s 500-yard freestyle, men’s 1,650-yard freestyle), Emma Barksdale (women’s 400-yard IM) and Taylor Worrell (women’s 500-yard freestyle) at NCAAs. Additional men’s swimming qualifiers will be announced soon, and more Gamecock divers could qualify for the national meet when Zone Diving concludes Wednesday with the platform.
The top eight finishers on Tuesday earned automatic qualifying spots, and Lamendola was up to the challenge, finishing eighth. Her score of 611.00 was just 0.75 points higher than the ninth-place finisher, fellow Gamecock Vincent. Lamendola’s top dive was her last, a Forward 2 1/2 Somersault 1 Twist Pike that was marked at 60.00.
Lamendola’s 3-meter performance also earned the senior an NCAA bid in the 1-meter, where she finished 10th on Monday. Student-athletes who earn an automatic bid in one discipline at Zone Diving are also eligible to compete in other disciplines if they finish in the top 12.
Vincent was also the beneficiary of that rule on Tuesday, using it to book a nationals spot in the 3-meter. The sophomore placed fourth in 1-meter on Monday to earn an automatic berth, meaning her ninth-place finish on Tuesday assured NCAA passage in the 3-meter. Vincent finished with a total of 610.25 on Tuesday, with a Back 2 1/2 Somersault Pike coming in at 63.00.
Sophomore Marissa Roth finished 10th on Tuesday with a score of 590.80. Her top dive, a Reverse 2 1/2 Somersault Tuck, was graded at 60.20. Roth will dive on the platform Wednesday, where seven automatic bids are on the line. If she can grab one of them, she will also dive the 3-meter at NCAAs by virtue of her top 12 result.
South Carolina head diving coach Todd Sherritt said in his postgame comments on Monday night that he expected to put four Gamecocks in the 3-meter finals, and that expectation was met when freshman Allyson Nied made the top 18 in her first Zone Diving appearance. Nied finished 16th overall, scoring 556.45. Her top mark, a 50.00, came in the Forward 1 1/2 Somersault 2 Twist Free.
Freshman Mikaela Lujan finished 23rd on Tuesday, missing a finals spot by just 10.35 points. Her final score of 265.65 included an Inward 2 1/2 Somersault Tuck that received a score of 52.65.
Freshman Marisa Rasnick also represented the Gamecocks on Tuesday, finishing 41st. Rasnick turned in a score of 210.65 in her first Zone appearance on the 3-meter stage.
After qualifying for NCAAs in the 3-meter on Monday, Gotro needed only to finish in the top 12 to advance to the national meet on the 1-meter board. He did much more than that, placing sixth with a score of 660.50. His last two dives were marked over 60, including a Reverse 2 1/2 Somersault Tuck that received a 63.00.
Sophomore Lyle Markman also took to the 1-meter board on Tuesday, placing 36th. His score of 220.80 was highlighted by a Forward 2 1/2 Somersault Pike that received a mark of 45.50.
HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt – “Jordan had another good day today. He was very solid. He was fatigued coming off of 3-meter but stepped up and stayed very consistent. He is having a great meet, and I’m looking for him to step up tomorrow on platform. The best thing I can say about him is that he’s solid. He hasn’t peaked yet, but that’s okay; we want him to peak at the NCAAs.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On Jordan Gotro’s second NCAA qualification of the meet
“Today was a very competitive day. Julia was very impressive out of the gate, winning the first list. Lauren and Marissa missed a couple of dives early, but what was impressive to me was the way they charged back in finals to give themselves a chance to make the top eight. It came down to the last dive, and Lauren had to beat her own teammate to get into NCAAs. It was a nail biter, and she was able to pull it off.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On the strong overall performance of his women on the 3-meter
“When you get to your senior season, there is a lot of pressure. After (Lauren) missed a couple of dives on her first list, it looked like it might not happen. But after prelims, we had a chat, and I reminded her that she was good enough to make it. She was aggressive in finals and really didn’t miss a dive. I could tell it was a difficult thing to do mentally, but she overcame it, and that’s important. To find the strength to overcome adversity after missing a couple of dives, when other women were diving well, was impressive. She battled through. I am thankful she got it. She earned it, and she deserved it.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On Lauren Lamendola qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time as a senior
- Lamendola and Roth each posted 12-dive career high scores on Tuesday.
- With her effort on Tuesday, Vincent will dive on both springboards for the second straight season at the NCAA Championships.
- Gotro will dive on the 1-meter board for the second straight season at the NCAAs.
UP NEXT FOR CAROLINA
Zone Diving concludes on Wednesday as both the men and the women head to the platform. The action starts one hour earlier, at 10 a.m., and Gamecock fans can follow South Carolina’s progress throughout the day at DiveMeets.com.