BYU divers represent in the Wildcat Invitational

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BYU divers compete today in the fifth annual Wildcat Invitational, hosted by the University of Arizona in the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

The invitational will bring in over 70 divers from different schools for a chance to compete this weekend.

The divers will not be joined by their swimming counterparts, since the BYU men’s and women’s teams are currently competing in the Arena Invitational in Long Beach, making this the first time of the season the divers have split up to attend their own competition.

Senior Dayna Christensen and sophomore Nicholas Suder look to be the most promising contenders for BYU this weekend after impressive performances in previous meets this season.

Christensen returns to the invitational this year after having placed second overall in the 3-m in last year’s competition. So far this year she won first-place in the 3-m in the first dual meet of the season against Hawaii and most recently snatched first again in the 3-m against UNLV.

“We have come every year since I started diving at BYU,” Christensen said. “A lot of schools come so we get to see a lot of people we know. It’s always a very well run meet, so it always ends up being pretty fun.”

Christensen said the long waits in the sun between dives will pose a new challenge in staying warmed up for the dives, but she appreciates a chance to enjoy some warm weather for a change.

“I think for the swim team the meet is not very significant, but for divers it is because there are so many schools here that we see at conference and zones, so it gives us a good idea of what people are doing and what to expect in march when we go to those other meets,” Christensen said. “That is a big reason why we come to this meet.”

Suder has had an exceptional season thus far, placing first in both the 1-m and 3-m against Hawaii and then repeating the first-place wins in the 1-m and 3-m against UNLV.

“We’re pumped,” Suder said. “This meet is a really good indicator for us.  We get to see how we’re progressing and get to see where we’re going to place at conference and zones. I know a lot of the teammates are really excited.”

Freshman Edward Young and junior Raleigh Williams Taylor have also stood out in the past two dual meets. Young placed second recently in the 1-m against UNLV and third in both 1-m and 3-m events in Hawaii, while Williams Taylor came in second place in the 3-m and third in the 1-m.

Although the divers enjoy having a meet all to themselves, Suder said he will miss the boost and additional support the swim team’s presence provides. Despite their absence, Suder is optimistic about how he expects the team to perform.

“I think we’ll do well,” Suder said. “We have some amazing divers here and they’re going to do great things.”

The Wildcat Invitational kicks off at 12 p.m. and results can be viewed on the schedule page at byucougars.com.

 

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