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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Diving teams prepare for postseason

The Texas A&M men’s and women’s diving teams will compete in the 2009 Zone D Diving Championships Friday in Columbia, Mo.
The meet is an NCAA competition organized in order to choose the top divers of the Midwest Zone to compete in the NCAA championship meet later this month.
The number of spots open for the NCAAs varies with each season, this year, Zone D in which A&M competes in has five available men’s spots and 10 women’s. The spots will be divided amongst 19 schools, including rivals University of Texas.
The Aggie women’s team, comprised of four students, will send each and every one of its divers to the meet, including sophomores Jaele Patrick and Emily Watson, freshman Lorena Lujan, and junior Haley Haynes.
Patrick, who was awarded Big 12 Conference Diver of the Week twice in 2009, said that the team is excited about bringing all four divers to the meet.
“It’s some tight competition next week in Missouri,” Patrick said. “But we’re bringing our best divers along, and we’ve all got a good chance to make the NCAAs.”
Patrick, who moved to A&M from Australia over the winter break, will be competing alongside teammate Haynes, who has had a recent improvement in her diving repertoire that will aid her in her efforts at the Zone meet.
“At the Big 12 meet, she learned one of the most difficult dives you can perform on the platform event,” Head Diving Coach Kevin Wright said. “She learned the reverse 2 and a half pike off of the ten meter in warm ups before the finals, then performed it for 6.5s.”
Wright said that Haynes is one of the only divers in the nation that can do the dive successfully, and men’s senior diver Eric Sehn, four-time Big 12 champion, said he would never try the dive.
Sehn will, however, be competing with his personal diving set at the meet alongside teammates Grant Nel, a freshman from Australia, Cam McLean, a freshman from Canada, and Henry Stevens, a junior from Midland, TX.
The A&M men’s team will compete against many experienced divers from Texas and Missouri, including three Longhorns and two Missouri athletes who have competed in the National Championships.
“Having only the five spots is going to create a dog fight,” Sehn said. “Everyone is very close, when it comes down to the third, fourth, fifth spots, it’s going to be tough.”
In 2007, Sehn took first place in the Zone meet only to continue to the NCAAs, taking third, fourth, and fifth place in three separate diving events. He said he’s trying to focus on what he’s doing and not too much on the divers from other teams.
Sehn also gave words of wisdom to his freshmen teammates, who have obviously never competed in a collegiate Zone meet before.
“The Zone meet is different from any international meet I’ve been to,” Sehn said. “It’s important to keep in a mindset that focuses on what you have to do for yourself. When you start thinking about other things, other competitors, that’s when things go bad. I think they’re going to do great though.”
Wright said both team’s work ethic this season was excellent in and out of the pool.
“Within day one when they got here, we were in the weight room,” Wright said. “Many accolades and much appreciation to Monty Gibson for his work with them in the weight room.”
Wright also said he was extremely excited to see the results of the team’s hard work and training, and that the team has great opportunities for success.
“I’m so excited that if someone gave me a bushel-barrell of mushrooms, I’d eat them,” Wright said. “And I hate mushrooms.”

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