Illinois State's Zhang Finishes In Top 15 at NCAA Championships
March 20, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Competing against the best collegiate divers in the country for the first time seemed to not phase Illinois State junior Wenting Zhang, as she advanced out of the prelims and finished in 15th place overall in the 1-meter diving competition Thursday at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
With her performance, Zhang earned honorable mention All-America honors and became the first diver in school history to do so.
"To be top-15 and named an All-American in your first NCAA Championship meet is an incredibly satisfying way to end the 1-meter season for Wendy," ISU diving coach Phil Hoffman said. "I am very proud of her performance today and think she represented herself and Illinois State very well."
The Shenzhen, China, native advanced out of the prelims in 14th place with a score of 283.40. Those divers in ninth through 16th places then moved into the consolation final, where she placed seventh with a score of 290.60. With eight divers competing in the finals this evening, Zhang finished the competition in 15th place overall.
"This was one of the toughest contests in a few years and all of the coaches were impressed with the level of diving seen today in the prelims and the consolation final," Hoffman stated. "To know that our diver was in the mix and had a shot against the best in the country is an honor that we certainly don't take lightly. With the 3-meter competition coming tomorrow, we know that anything is possible."
Zhang will return to action in the 3-meter diving prelims tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. ESPN3.com will stream finals sessions on Friday and Saturday live and Friday's morning session will be streamed live via gophersports.com. Live results for the championships will be available on NCAA.com and DiveMeets.com.
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