COLUMBUS, Ohio – The first Buckeye diver has qualified for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships as Bianca Alvarez finished as the runner-up on the 3-meter springboard during the first day of competition at the NCAA Zone C diving championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Alvarez, a two-time NCAA qualifier already and a national runner-up on 3-meter in 2008 as a freshman, qualified the hard way, too: she climbed from seventh-place in the prelims to take runner-up honors with 655.15 points. She was comfortable competing in her home pool, but the size of the field – 50 divers – caused a stir for the molecular genetics major from Miami, Fla.
“I was so tense in preliminaries,” Alvarez said. “It’s weird to sit through a 50-diver competition. It felt so long [between dives] and once I got up there my adrenaline was out of control. I think I should have been less nervous because I’ve done this before but I got a little worked up. I’m good now though.”
Alvarez was one of four Ohio State divers competing on Thursday. Teammate Kristen Asman, a junior from Columbus and Fort Hayes, H.S., made finals on the 3-meter, finishing eighth with 615.70 points.
And on the men’s side, two freshmen Buckeyes experienced their first NCAA zone meet and each made finals on the 1-meter springboard: Christian Holstein, from Upper Arlington, and Shane Miszkiel, from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Holstein was 10th with 630.50 points and Miszkiel 15th with 577.10 points. Holstein was helped by the fact he was diving at his home pool in such a big meet.
“NCAAs are definitely a different feeling,” Holstein said. “You have so much riding on your back, you really have to focus. I am definitely more confident here than at another pool. I think I dove consistently today and, outside of my second dive, I’m satisfied [with my effort].”
The competition continues Friday with the women’s 1-meter competition and the men’s 3-meter competition. Start time is 1 p.m. and admission into the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion is free.