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Ohio Divers Head to 2019 NCAA Diving Zone Championships

Ohio Divers Head to 2019 NCAA Diving Zone Championships

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio divers will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana on Tuesday, (Mar. 12) for the NCAA Zone C Championships beginning on Thursday (Mar. 14), and will continue through Saturday (Mar. 16). Zone C Championships will be at Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University.

"We are excited about extending our diving season to the NCAA zone meet," said first-year head coach Mason Norman. "It's a reflection of the culture that coach Britni has created with her group. They deserve to compete with the best divers in the country. Taylor, Nicole, and Liv all have a chance to make a great showing next week!"

Redshirt-junior Olivia Dillon (Newcastle, Aus.), senior Nicole Hughes (Cleveland, Ohio) and freshman Taylor Miller (Latrobe, Pa.) all met NCAA Zone standards in the 2018-19 season. Dillon and Hughes qualified for both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving zone championship events and Miller qualified for the 3-meter diving zone championship event.

In order to qualify for the 1-meter diving zones, divers must reach 265 total points in any six-dive list with standard degree of difficulty. In order to qualify for the 1-meter diving zones, divers must reach 280 total points in any six-dive list with standard degree of difficulty.

Dillon qualified for the 1-meter NCAA Zone Championships in her event win at University of Buffalo Diving Invitational with a score of 265.85 points. Dillon later beat that score in the dual against Toledo with a score of 284.25.

Hughes qualified for the 1-meter NCAA Zone Championships with a score of 274.43 points in the dual against Toledo.

Miller, Dillon and Hughes all qualified for the 3-meter Zone Championships in the senior day dual against Youngstown State. The three divers swept the podium as Miller won the event and secured a spot at Zones with a score of 312.30, Hughes finished in second-place and secured a spot at Zones with a score of 306.44, and Dillon finished in third-place and secured a spot at Zones with a score of 298.50.

"All of our divers have been working incredibly hard all year and it's so rewarding to get to take this group to Zones, they've certainly earned it," said first-year head diving coach Britni Fisher. "We are all looking forward to seeing how they'll compete against other elite divers. I couldn't be prouder of them."

Ohio swimming and diving last saw action in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Championships where they finished fifth with a total of 421 points at Ocasek Natatorium. This score is the highest total and first time over 400 points since 2013. In the 1-meter dive B finals, Dillon went on to capture 12th with a score of 243.15 and Hughes went on to capture 14th with a score of 236.40. Ohio concluded the 2019 MAC Championships with a total of 19 All-Time Top-10 program history records including five All-Time school records.

Head coach Mason Norman begins his first season at the helm of the Ohio swimming and diving team.  Norman, a native of Duluth, Ga., competed as a student-athlete at Wingate, accumulating 22 All-American honors, a spot on the NCAA Division II national championship 400 free relay team in 2010 and competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100-meter freestyle. Entering his coaching career, Norman was a graduate assistant before being promoted to interim assistant coach at the University of Tennessee proceeded on to a short time at Utah before he joined the Kentucky staff, where he spent his previous five years, his final year as the associate head coach.

Britni Fisher begins her stint as the new diving coach, while Carlye Ellis begins her time as the new assistant swim and coach.

Fisher, a former diver at Illinois, spent two years as a graduate assistant at Bryant prior to joining the Ohio staff. Fisher's second season at Bryant saw the women's swimming and diving program capture the NEC Championship crown for the first time in program history. She currently holds the Illinois school records for the one-meter (298.27) and three-meter (319.65) springboards and maintains the third highest platform score (162.80). Fisher is a four-time varsity letter winner, a four-time Illini Outstanding Diver of the Year and qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships.

Ellis, a Texas four-time varsity letter winner, two-time NCAA Division I All-American and Big 12 champion, spent three years as the assistant swimming and diving coach at Cornell prior to joining Ohio's staff. In just three seasons, Ellis helped Cornell swimmers rewrite the school's record book setting new school records in more than 10 individual events and in three relay events. Additionally, Cornell posted 70 times that rank among the top 10 all-time fastest swims along with three relay records and 22 other times that have joined the list.

Ohio returns seniors Emily Davis (Lexington, Ky.), Ana Henderson (Danville, Calif.), Mackenzie Hornstra (Naperville, Ill.), Nicole Hughes (Cleveland, Ohio), Emily Ortner (Concord, Calif.), Corrin Van Lanen (Green Bay, Wis.), Lexie White (Waxhaw, N.C.), and Maddie Wyke (Columbus, Ind.). 

This year's junior class of returners consists of reshirt-junior Olivia Dillon (Newcastle, Aus.), Mackenzie Caruthers (Hilliard, Ohio), Annie Gosselin (Naperville, Ill.), Emilia Lahtinen (Ylojarvi, Finland), Ireland Littlejohn (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Katherine Redden (Fort Thomas, Ky.), and Ryleigh Tuck-Macalla (Bay Village, Ohio).

Sophomores include: Carolyn Bischoff (New Hudson, Mich.), Katherine Garrity (Eagan, Minn.), Samantha Glass (Villa Hills, Ky.), Abigail Jordan (West Chester, Ohio), Katelyn O'Brien (Williams Bay, Wis.), and Hannah Schlegel (Birdsboro, Pa.).

Ohio welcomes eight freshmen to the roster to begin the season. Athena Aravantinou (Bethesda, Md.), Madison Haschemeyer (Springfield, Ill.), Taylor Miller (Latrobe, Pa.), Madeline Kenyon (Dayton, Ohio), Rebekah Klem (Columbiana, Ohio), Kelsey Morgan (Pickerington, Ohio), Chloe Pace (Naperville, Ill.) and Kendra Sheehan (Columbus, Ohio), will all make their collegiate debut for Ohio this season.

Ohio also welcomes two transfer junior's Chastity Haxton (Englewood, Fla.) and Courtney Perrett (Durban, South Africa), both coming to Ohio from Indian River State College in Florida.