Swim and Dive: Utes Finish Strong at Air Force Diving Invitational

A competitor launches into a backflip off of the high diving boards.jpg Kim Brenneisen

On Friday Jan. 27 and Saturday Jan. 28, the University of Utah diving team traveled to Colorado Springs to compete in the Air Force Diving Invitational. The Utes battled between 14 schools during the weekend’s events. The schools included Air Force, BYU, Wyoming, Colorado State, Boise State, California, North Texas, San Diego State, New Mexico and Northern Arizona.

“We had a great meet this weekend with multiple top 10 finishes in an extremely large field,” said head coach Richard Marschner. “We use this meet as a final tuneup before we head to the Pac-12 Championships in four weeks, and the team showed me that we’re ready to perform at a very high level in the championship season.”

During the two day invitational a few top performers stood out for the Utes. Senior Josiah Purss took first place during the one meter (360.75). Purss would also take third during the three meter dive scoring 326.10. Sophomore Jeffrey Cain also took third in the one meter with a score of 298.00.

Sophomore Daniel Theriault would come in second during the men’s platform scoring a total of 303.55. Theriault would come in sixth place in the three meter scoring 304.20 and ninth during the one meter (263.30).

“Daniel Theriault had a fantastic meet by setting two personal bests on three meter and on the platform event while qualifying for NCAA regionals in the process,” Marschner said.

Senior Amanda Casillas was a star diver for the Utes over the weekend. Casillas and the rest of the Lady Utes challenged 60 other divers over the course of two days. On Friday, Casillas came in fourth place during the one meter dive scoring 277.90 and during the platform event she scored 213.40.

“Amanda Casillas was one of only two competitors in the 65 person field to place in the top  five on all three events,” Marschner said.

Junior Lauren Hall placed 10th in the three meter with a score of 254.70. Hall has really stood out this 2016-17 season with the Utes and Marschner thinks she is the most improved diver this year.

“I’m really proud of Lauren Hall’s progress this year, because she has become a very consistent and reliable diver on the three meter dive,”Marschner said. “She has worked very hard to become more consistent with her dives and it has paid off.”

Coming up next on the schedule for the Lady Utes swimming and diving team is a match on February 11th against the Washington State Cougars. The men’s swimming and diving team will compete the following weekend, Feb. 18, in Los Angeles against the USC Trojans.

Seeing how it is so close to the end of the season many of the Utes only have one thing on their mind — the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash.

The team has the opportunity to qualify multiple members to the NCAA National Championships for the fourth consecutive year,”Marschner said. “Hopefully, we can bring home some top three finishes at the Pac-12 Championships this year.”