Senior Annika Lenz wrapped up her one and only event at the 2016 USA Diving Winter National Championships Tuesday afternoon.
While her teammates faced off against Hawai’i in Honolulu, the UCLA diver traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to compete in what could be her last USA Diving competition at the national level. Lenz participated in the 10-meter platform event.
On Sunday, Lenz came in 12th in the semifinal and clinched the last qualifying spot for Tuesday’s final.
The Bruin’s performance Tuesday allowed her to move up in the rankings and finish eighth in the event with a score of 690.60.
Lenz said that because the scores from the quarterfinal through the final are cumulative, she was far behind going into the finals and wanted to prove to herself that she could do better.
“Being able to step up in the finals was good for me,” Lenz said.
2016 Olympian Amy Cozad took first in the 10-meter event. Also among those who finished ahead of Lenz was sophomore Madison Witt of USC, who beat out Lenz for first place in the same event in the Trojan Diving Invitational in November.
In addition to the platform event, Lenz has also had strong performances on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards this fall. She was slated to take part in the 3-meter component of winter nationals in addition to platform, but dropped it to focus on the platform after qualifying for the finals in that event.
Lenz was the only UCLA diver with a qualifying score for the winter national championship that opted to compete in it.
“I just wanted a good practice meet to see where I stand against the best in the country and just gauge where I’m at,” Lenz said.
Looking forward, the swimming and diving team will welcome Boise State and Kansas at home Jan. 6. The divers will then host the Bruin Diving Invitational the following weekend.
“We’re really in a good place,” said diving coach Tom Stebbins. “We could be a pretty cool story when it’s all said and done.”