Mosca Qualifies for NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
A pair of Harvard divers competed in this weekend’s NCAA Zone A Diving Championships, eyeing berths to the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Sophomore Michael Mosca earned his first trip to the national championships, while senior Brittany Powell had a personal-best performance at the event to close out her Crimson career.
With a second-place finish in the one-meter, Mosca became the first Harvard diver since 2003 to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships.
“I’m excited to find out [what I can do at NCAA’s],” Mosca said. “I would love to beat my best, so I can get points for my team. I think it’s great to be able to compete on the national level for Harvard men’s swimming and diving. There’s going to be a bunch of swimmers from our team, so it will be a great experience to dive alongside those swimmers.”
Last season, Mosca just missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships. He finished in second on the one-meter and third on the three-meter in his freshman debut at Zones.
“This year I have brand new dives I have added into my competitive list, both on one-meter and three-meter,” Mosca said. “Now I have a higher degree of difficulty, which means I can score more points. I think that was a huge contributing factor to my ability to actually qualify. I’ve got a much more competitive list, and I have had another year to polish up my dives.”
Mosca had a strong performance in the one-meter preliminaries on Friday to kick-off the event. His total of 329.55 put him solidly in fourth heading into the finals. Mosca then leapfrogged two of his competitors with his 677.60 point total, good for second place.
On Saturday, Mosca sat in third after the three-meter prelims with a 382.75 point total. In the finals, he racked up 373.75 points to finish in fourth.
Last weekend, Mosca swept both the one-meter and three-meter events to take home two titles at the Ivy League Championships. The sophomore was named the Karl B. Michael High Point Diver of the meet. Earlier this season, Mosca broke his own school records in both events at the Brown dual meet in January.
For Powell, it was a fitting end to her senior season. Her strong performances in both events capped her Crimson career.
“I made a goal before the meet,” Powell said. “It wasn’t a huge pressure situation, because I never really thought I would necessarily get top two or make it to NCAA’s, but I wanted to final on both boards and make top-18.”
Powell competed in Zones both her freshman and sophomore years, but missed out on the Championships last season. She had only reached the finals once: in three-meter during her sophomore season.
This year, in her final time out representing Harvard, Powell qualified for the finals on both boards. Her prelim score of 253.55 on Friday was good enough to make the top-18 in the three-meter, and her final score of 236.55 gave the senior a 15th place finish in the event. Powell posted an identical 15th place finish on the three-meter, with a prelim score of 227.10 and a finals score of 228.30.
“It’s great to see an evolution in your diving, and to be able to set goals like that and achieve them,” Powell said. “It was a great end to my career.”
Powell led the women’s team both in and out of the pool after having been elected co-captain last spring.
“I really put all the pressure of my last season into being a great captain rather than focusing on my individual performance,” Powell said. “I think the mentality of being a good role model—doing all the dry-lands, all those extra little things—definitely helped my own personal diving.”
At the Ivy League Championships in late February, Powell captured her first league title with a win on the one-meter board. She also took home a second-place finish in the three-meter dive.
“It really ended on a fairytale note for me,” Powell said.
—Staff writer Brenna R. Nelsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org