Seven BYU men competed in the diving zone championships last weekend, but senior Brandon Watson was the only Cougar to earn an invitation to the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship.
The championships took place over three days at the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Natatorium in Colorado.
Watson took second in the men’s 3-meter with a score of 814.60 and fourth in the 1-meter with a score of 715.90. With those results, Watson beat other divers out for spots and put him among six others from Zone E who will compete at the national championship in Washington, from March 22-24. Watson is one of 35 divers overall competing at the meet.
Watson was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Athlete of the Year. For the 2010-11 season, he was the only All-American on BYU’s swim and dive team. Watson was also named the Mountain West Conference’s Diver of the Year three times; he earned the honor during his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
As for the other divers competing from BYU, junior Dayna Christensen put up a good showing in the 3-meter, taking 8th place and scoring 588.15. She placed 15th in the women’s 1-meter with a score of 511.90. Senior Syrena Miskin placed 18th in the 3-meter.
Competing for the first time at the Zone E Championships, freshman Kevin Dreesen scored 587.45 in the 1-meter, taking 12th in that event. Fellow freshman Matt Denkers finished right behind him in 13th with a score of 575.25. In the 3-meter, Dreesen, Denkers and senior Travis Day placed consecutively in 12th, 13th and 14th places.
The only other representative BYU will have in national competition is freshman swimmer Hailey Campbell. This was Campbell’s first year competing with Cougars as she swam her true freshman year at Penn State. Campbell will compete in the 200 back at the NCAA Women’s Championship. Campbell had a record-breaking performance at the MPSF conference meet in the event, touching in with a time of 1:55.46.
The women’s championship takes place this week from March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala. The men’s championship takes place from March 22-24 in Seattle.