Sophomore Wins Diving Zone A

Alexandra C. Bell

Sophomore Samantha Papadakis set a school record with a score of 502.40 points on the 1-meter diving board, earning first place out of a field of 18 divers and qualifying for the NCAA finals in Georgia.

With her record-breaking performance at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships, sophomore Samantha Papadakis earned at least an ‘A’ this past weekend. Papadakis won the 1-meter diving competition this weekend at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships, while senior Danil Rybalko finished fifth in the 1-meter and ninth in the 3-meter on the men’s side.

Papadakis set a school record with her final score of 502.40 points, demolishing the previous record of 486.90 set by Jenny Greene ’88. Papadakis finished the first round of competition in second place behind Brown’s Jessica Larson, trailing 254.15 to 252.75 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

In the second round, however, she tallied 249.65 points to defeat Larson by a small margin. Larson finished second with 498.05 points.

On the second day of competition, Papadakis finished 10th in the 3-meter diving competition, which was won by Kristin Caiazzo of Pittsburg, Pa.

With the victory, Papadakis automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, which will take place March 16-18 in Athens, Ga. The first four competitors qualify for the NCAA championships.

Sophomore Alison Pipitone donned her swimsuit for Harvard but did not snag a place in the top 18 in the 3-meter diving.

On the men’s side, Rybalko completed his impressive collegiate career with a ninth-place finish on the 3-meter board with a score of 309.45. Jeremy Stultz of Pittsburg won the event with a score of 386.15.

On the second day of competition, Rybalko notched a fifth-place finish in the 1-meter competition, which Adam Pierce of Penn State won by over 20 points. Rybalko came into the meet fresh off of an impressive showing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League (EISL) Championships the previous weekend, when he was named Diver of the Meet for his victories in the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.

“What will always define Dan’s career for me is his last dive at this year’s EISL championships,” Cromwell said. “Going into the dive, he was behind, and he needed to be absolutely perfect to win. He accomplished just that, getting one of the highest scores for an individual dive in the entire meet.”

—Staff writer Julie R. S. Fogarty can be reached at