COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The New Mexico State diving team hit the pool for one last time this season as it concluded participation in the 2014 NCAA Zone E Regional on Saturday at the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Natatorium.
The final event of the regional was the platform diving event. Although all three Aggie divers competed in the three-day zone regional, only two, senior Jaymee Porter and sophomore Audrey Ruiz, dove on Saturday during the platform event.
Porter, making her final appearance for NM State, made the most of her final event as an Aggie by marking NM State’s best finish of the meet after finishing in 22nd place during Saturday’s preliminary round with a total five-dive score of 205.30.
“Jaymee finished her career with another great platform performance,” Aggie diving coach Kyle Bogner said. “Her score was in the top 5 tower performances at NM State.”
Ruiz, meanwhile, concluded her second zones appearance in as many years at NM State by marking a total score of 152.10 during the preliminary round to finish in 39th place.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, neither diver advanced to the 12-diver final round. In fact, for the first time this week there was no Western Athletic Conference diver in the final round of an event. Idaho’s Paige Hunt, who had advanced to the finals of the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events, fell one spot short of advancing on Saturday after finishing in 13th place during the prelims with a score of 232.90.
“Overall I think we did OK this weekend,” Bogner said. “There were some highs and lows and we didn't place as well as we would have hoped, but I think it was a great meet to set the pace for next year. Ideally, we are getting into the finals of the zone meet, but that can be difficult if an athlete has never been at this competition before.”
Kahley Rowell of Cal-Berkeley won the platfomr event with a finals’ score of 573.50. She, along with Haley Ishimatsu of Southern California, Hailey Casper of Arizona State, Alexandra Clay of Stanford, En-tien Huang of Nevada, Lauren Hall of Hawai’i, Hannah Prigge of Fresno State and Kersten Merry of Utah, will advance to the 2014 NCAA Diving Championships.
The final day of the zone regional caps off a tremendous season for the Aggie diving team. A season that saw all three NM State divers compete in a zone meet for the first time in school history. A season that also saw Ruiz earn a WAC Diver of the Week nod and Porter break the school record for the platform event during her final WAC Championships.
The Aggies will now look forward to the start of the 2014 fall schedule. With Porter’s departure, the team will look towards Ruiz and fellow sophomore Lauren Reifel to lead the squad next season.
“I believe that Audrey and Lauren gained a lot of invaluable experience this year in competitions and practice,” Bogner said. “As long as we can take those lessons and carry them forward to next year, they will be set up to have an even more successful year next year. Overall I think that this year went very well, but I look forward to starting training for next year as I am confident the ladies can perform even better.”