Two Harvard divers will depart today for the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, to be held March 20-22 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Freshman Jennifer Greene and senior Shannon Byrd both qualified for the national 3-meter competition as a result of their finishes in the Zone A Championships this past weekend in State College, Penn. Greene won the 3-meter contest with a score of 374.20 points, while Byrd finished second with 359.30.
Both divers narrowly missed the opportunity to compete on the 1-meter board as well. Only the top four finishers earned NCAA bids, and Greene wound up fifth and Byrd seventh overall--although both divers were within 12 points of gaining the final slot.
Greene, who will be diving in her first NCAA meet, is looking forward to this weekend but remains slightly nervous about competing. "I'm a little anxious to see the level of diving in the meet," Greene said, "but am still very happy to be going.
"I dove really well on the 3-meter board this past weekend, but I'm a little upset at myself for missing on a dive in 1-meter that probably cost me forth place."
Two weeks ago, Greene earned the Outstanding Diver of the Meet award for her first-place 3-meter finish in the Eastern Championships, also held at Penn State.
For Byrd, co-captain of the women's swimming team, this weekend's event will mark her final competition in a Harvard suit. In her four years with the Crimson, she has seen the team rise from an also-ran into defending Ivy League champions.
"It will be extremely hard to dive without Shannon," says Greene. "She's been a great teammate and has always been there to loosen me up when I'm uptight during a meet."
Diving Coach John Walker has high hopes for his diving duo. "If both Shannon and Jennifer continue to perform at the same level of consistency," said Walker, "their results ought to speak for themselves. It would be within their capabilities for both of them to score points by finishing in the top 16 overall."
Even after this weekend's competition, however, the season continues for the divers. The U.S. Senior National qualifiers take place in the second week of April in Pittsburgh, with the actual championships the following week in Indianapolis.