March 7, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State swimming & diving team will be sending freshman diver Garrett Nevels to Iowa City, Iowa for the 2012 NCAA Zone `D' Diving Championships, March 8-9. The men will begin with 3-meter diving on Thursday, followed by the 1-meter competition on Friday.
Nevels, the lone qualifier for the Bears, is one of 31 male divers vying for a chance to compete at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships two weeks from now in Seattle, Wash. In a larger field than years past, only nine will qualify for the NCAA Championships.
"As a freshman coming in, he didn't have a lot of experience on the 3-meter, but he has really improved this season," head diving coach James Huelskamp said of Nevels. "The top divers in the Midwest, including a handful of NCAA All-Americans and Olympians, will be competing in Iowa City, so this experience will really improve his career as a collegiate diver."
The group of 31 includes athletes from Iowa, LSU, Minnesota, Mizzou, Saint Louis, SMU, South Dakota State, Texas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Lee's Summit, Mo. native went into the 2012 MAC Championships and made the championship finals on 3-meter in his first season with the Bears, placing seventh overall. His score of 329.40 in prelims marked the first time he had reached the Zone `D' cut this season on 3-meter. Nevels first qualified for Zones on the 1-meter board at the Incarnate Word Christmas Invitational in December.
Last year, Missouri State senior Eric Ducourneau traveled to Austin, Texas for the Zone `D' Regional and placed 16th on the 1-meter board and 15th on 3-meter.
The format for Zones is set up differently than a standard dual or championship meet, in that after the preliminary round, 18 divers will be selected to the compete in the finals and the scores (prelims+finals) will be used for a composite total of points.
Check MissouriStateBears.com on Thursday evening for an update on Nevels' progress throughout the Zone `D' Championships.