Hawkeyes to Compete at Zone D Diving Championships

March 7, 2012

University of Iowa women’s divers Joelle Christy, Abbey Grilli, Lauren Kelba and Veronica Rydze and men’s divers Osvel Molina and Arsen Sarkisan will compete at the 2012 Zone D Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on March 8-10. Divers who earn berths to the NCAA Championships in Auburn Ala., will be announced Monday, March 12.

Admission to the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships is free of charge.

Concessions and Championship merchandising will be available during competition times at the CRWC.

For more information visit the championship page located at hawkeyesports.com/sports/w-swim.

For live results from your computer or smart phone, visit: http://www.divemeets.com/. Free WiFi is available at the CRWC for all students and faculty.

Become fans of the official Iowa swimming and diving page by going to http://www.facebook.com/IowaSwimmingandDiving to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the black and gold on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/IowaHawkeyeSwim.

Veronica Rydze leads the women’s team with the top scores on the one- (325.28) and three-meter (346.10) springboards. Her collegiate best scores on the one-(325.28) and three-meter (358.45) both rank third in school history.

Last season at the Zone D Championships in Austin, Texas, Rydze earned berths to NCAA Championships in the one and three-meter boards. She placed third overall on the three-meter with a score of 644.60. In the one-meter event, Rydze finished 11th overall and posted a score of 534.90 to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

At the 2011 NCAA Championships, Rydze placed 13th in the consolation finals event in the one-meter. During the three-meter competition, Rydze was injured during her first dive. She attempted a second dive before withdrawing due to the injury.

Rydze garnered an All-America honor for her efforts on the one-meter springboard during the Championships.

Joelle Christy will be competing on the one- and three-meter springboards. She posted a collegiate best score of 283.36 on the one-meter against Illinois on Jan. 14. Christy earned a collegiate best score on the three-meter this season during Iowa’s final dual meet of the regular season against Western Illinois. She posted a score of 305.33, which ranks eighth on Iowa’s all-time top performers list.

Abbey Grilli is second behind Veronica Rydze on the season best scores list on both the one- and three-meter springboards. She will be competing on both boards at the Zone Championships. Grilli’s best score in the three-meter (307.80) ranks seventh overall in school history. She posted a best score of 288.90 on the one-meter on Feb. 3 against Western Illinois.

Lauren Kelba is Iowa’s only diver to compete in all three diving events. She earned collegiate best scores in all three events this season. On Jan. 14 against Illinois, Kelba posted best scores on the one-(270.23) and three-meter (286.95). She competed in the platform event at the 2012 Big Ten Championships and recorded a best score of 256.95.

Sophomore Osvel Molina led the men’s team with the top scores in the one (354.10) and three-meter (340.72) springboards. Molina won the one-meter (311.40) at the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 27. He earned his best scores in the three-meter (340.72) and platform (354.15) at the Hawkeye Invitational. Molina will compete in all three events this weekend.

Arsen Sarkisian will also compete in all three events during the three-day event. He earned collegiate best scores at the Hawkeye Invitational on the one (302.05) and three-meter (266.90) springboards. His best score of 249.55 in the platform came at the 2012 Big Ten Championships.

Senior Veronica Rydze was named the Big Ten Diver of the Week on Dec. 6 after claiming the one- and three-meter diving titles at the Hawkeye Invitational.

Senior diver Veronica Rydze has been selected to represent the USA Diving National Team at the 2012 Canada Cup – Fina Grand Prix. The competition will be held on May 3-5 in Montreal.

Rydze will be competing in the 3-meter synchronized diving event alongside former Hawkeye Deidre Freeman. The duo finished fifth in the event at the 2012 USA Diving Winter National Championships and World Cup Trials in December, finishing with 519.30 points.

UI diving coach Bob Rydze has also been chosen as one of three coaches for the USA Diving National Team at the Canada Cup.

Senior Veronica Rydze competed in the one-meter and three-meter springboards as well as the three-meter synchro with former Iowa All-American Deidre Freeman at the 2011 USA Diving Winter National Championships and World Cup Trials.

Rydze posted a seventh place finish on the one-meter with a score of 258.38 and placed 36th on the three-meter springboard with 213, finishing better than 38 competitors. Rydze and Freeman dove to a fifth place finish in the three-meter synchro with 519.3 points.

Sophomore diver Lauren Kelba competed at the Canadian Diving Winter Championships and World Cup Trials on Dec. 15-18. Kelba performed five dives on the three-meter springboard in the preliminaries to place 23rd overall with 231 points.

The women’s squad returns All-America diver Veronica Rydze. She earned the accolade after finishing 13th on the 1-meter board (296.35) at the NCAA Championships.

Ground was broken for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in October 2007. The facility opened in August 2010 and is home for the Hawkeyes. It is located at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets and cost approximately $69 million. The facility includes a 50-meter competition pool, a separate diving well, a leisure pool with lap lanes and 24,000 square feet of fitness space.

Bob Rydze is in his 37th year as diving coach of the men and women’s teams at the University of Iowa. Rydze served as Team Leader for USA Diving at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 33 All-Americans, nine Big Ten and one NCAA Champion.