Wednesday, July 17

Swim and dive sees successful splashdown in Zone E with fifth NCAA qualification


Senior Maria Polyakova punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, with wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships this week. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)

Senior Maria Polyakova punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, with wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships this week. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)


Four divers competed in the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships this past week.

Seniors Eloise Belanger and Traci Shiver, redshirt senior Maria Polyakova, and sophomore Alice Yanovksy traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, and, for the second time in her career, Polyakova won the 3-meter crown at Zones.

After wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter at the Pac-12 championships, Polyakova scored a 696.75 to claim victory, beating the second place finisher by more than 43 points.

Polyakova’s highest-scoring dive was a reverse 2 1/2 somersault pike, where she earned herself a score of 72.00. In four of her six dives, Polyakova scored a 60 or higher.

The score of 367.35 was her second-best of the season, falling 8.40 points shy of her record 375.75.

Belanger also competed in the 3-meter, receiving fourth place with a combined score of 635.55 – a score of 311.85 in the prelims and a 323.70 in the finals.

Belanger’s highest-scoring dive was 61.50 on a back 2 1/2 somersault pike.

Yanovsky also competed in the 3-meter, placing 25th in the preliminary round.

Day two of the championship brought a pair of first- and second-place wins for the Bruins.

Polyakova picked up first place in the 1-meter competition with a score of 643.50, and Belanger was close behind in second place with a score of 622.90. Arizona’s Delaney Schnell was the only other diver to break the 600-point mark.

In the finals, Polyakova scored a 50 or above in most of her final dives. Her highest and last dive was a 61.10 on a 5134D, which consists of a front 1 1/2 with two twists.

Belanger’s last dive was also her best score, attempting a 5333D – a reverse 1 1/2 flips and a 1 1/2 twist – to record a score of 54.60.

On the last day of the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships, UCLA finished with a fifth NCAA qualification.

Belanger wrapped up her time at the championships with a fourth-place finish in platform. Belanger has now triple-qualified for the NCAA championships for the second year in a row.

Earlier in the week, Polyakova also punched her ticket to the NCAAs when she won both the 1-meter and 3-meter.

Shiver was less than a point away from heading to the NCAA championships, trailing one point behind ninth-place finisher Ivy Houser of Hawai’i, who secured a bid.

In the finals, Belanger received her best score of a 61.50 on her second-to-last dive, a forward 3 1/2 somersault pike from 10 meters.

UCLA swimming and diving will send at least 10 athletes to compete in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships from March 20 to March 23 in Austin, Texas.

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Sports contributor

Britton is currently a contributor on the swim & dive beat. She was previously a contributor on the men's water polo and women's water polo beats.


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