March 11, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston diving team wrapped up the first day of hosting the NCAA Zone D Diving competition Monday evening at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.
Sophomore Natasha Burgess led the Cougars by taking fifth place (653.50) in the 3M diving event. Senior Julia Lonnegren (610.70) finished in eighth and freshman Danielle Shedd advanced to the finals as well, taking 12th place (580.65).
"I'm proud of all three of our girls," said head diving coach Jane Figueiredo. "All three of them did great. Julia's boards are really coming up the next two days, Dani (Shedd) fought tough in her first time going against all these great competitors and Tash (Burgess) did extremely well too.
"That's just a tough group of girls we were competing against. The passion, toughness, commitment, competitiveness and energy were all there- we just need to be a little bit more accurate the next two days."
Burgess entered the evening finals as the two-seed after a strong prelim showing in her best event. The native of Adelaide (Australia) still holds a shot to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 3M depending on how the other four student-athlete who finished ahead of her in the fare in the next two events (1M and Platform).
The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are held on March 21-23 in Indianapolis, Ind. Seven divers from the Zone D region will qualify, with the Platform winner, and the top-three finishers in the other two events receiving automatic entry.
Houston returns to the boards tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the 1M event beginning the day.