March 11, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the second-straight season, junior Tom Neubacher will compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. on March 28-30. Neubacher scored 728.45 points over 12 dives on the 1-meter springboard en route to earning second place at the NCAA Zone B Qualifier.
“Tom did a great job,” head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “I’m really impressed with how he kept himself in there until he made his move and then he just rocked it, saving his best dive for last. I’m just so excited to have another diver heading to nationals and I can’t wait for us to get there.”
Neubacher tallied 339.05 points from prelims which was good enough for fourth place heading into finals.
The Windermere, Fla. native made his move in the fourth round after he scored 67.50 points on a reverse two-and-a-half somersault tuck, moving him into second place after two of his closet competitors missed their dives.
“It comes down to consistency and experience and Tom is a great competitor,” Jeffrey said. “With younger guys in the meet, they tend to get a little nervous and what happens is they miss dives. The best competitors know when to throw the hammer down and Tom is definitely one of those guys. He makes it tougher on the competition because he does great under pressure.”
Neubacher distanced himself in the fifth round, before posting a career high 83.70 on an inward two-and-a-half somersault tuck in order to own second place, securing an automatic qualifying spot.
Senior Nick Klein closed out his career on 1-meter with a solid performance of 604.55. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native placed 10th just in front of junior Mikey Lewark who was 13th with a mark of 578.40.
“If Nick can dive like that then who knows what can happen,” Jeffrey said. “I was so proud of him. Mikey did some really nice dives but had the jitters early on. Both 3-meter and platform are better events for those guys. They just need to relax and go after it because they have nothing to lose.”
“They both did a solid job,” Jeffrey said. “Kelsey was solid all the way through but in the end her level of consistency wasn’t high as it could have been. Both Ariel and Kelsey could have been a little sharper and I thought they were on that cusp of being on. They didn’t miss and they didn’t crumble, but they hung around there to give themselves a shot. Right now, 1-meter is better for them and I am very optimistic for them to get it done and get in there.”
Tomorrow, the women will dive 1-meter, while the men are contesting on 3-meter. Two more spots for the men are up for grabs and four are available for the ladies in tomorrow’s events. All sessions will have live scoring and live streaming. Streaming links will be available prior to the start of the event at 11 a.m. Check back to Seminoles.com, Facebook and Twitter for more information.