Junior Tatiana Kurach earned a team-best 12th-place appearance on the 1-meter board during Monday's opening day of the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. Kurach was the lone Northern Arizona diver to qualify for the finals and missed out on an automatic qualifying spot to the national championships by three spots.
Kurach totaled a two-round score of 551.90 and managed to improve on her preliminary position by four spots in the finals. The reigning WAC Diver of the Year appeared to be in perfect position to nab her second straight Division I NCAA Championship appearance, ranking third through the first three rounds of the prelims.
"Everyone dove really well," said Lumberjacks diving coach Nikki Huffman. "Tatiana just missed the top nine and she only had one dive that was a little off. The field was pretty exceptional."
Kurach finished the qualifying round in 16th with a score of 263.00 before posting a score of 288.90 in the finals for her final total. Making her NCAA Zones debut, freshman Jenny Cheetham steadily moved up the leaderboard throughout the preliminaries and wound up in 20th overall – just two spots away from the top 18 finals. Cheetham recorded a score of 254.60 in NAU's second-highest finish.
Junior Christina Torrente was a couple spots behind in 24th overall with a score of 249.35. Junior Olivia Payne, who was making her first Zones appearance as well, placed 51st with a prelims score of 207.85.
The Lumberjack divers will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships on 3-meter on Tuesday. Preliminaries will start in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex at 11 a.m. with the finals to follow.
The Northern Arizona women's golf team opened the first two rounds of the Wildcat Invitational, hosted by Arizona at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson on Monday.
The Lumberjacks competed in a stacked field that included five of the top 25 teams in the nation and No. 1 UCLA.
Northern Arizona opened the tournament with a team score of 27-over and improved with a 21-over in the second round to find itself in 17th overall with a final round still to be played on Tuesday morning.
Sofia Anokhina moved up 28 spots on the individual leaderboard with a second round score of 72 after posting a 78 in the opener. She sits at 6-over overall and is tied for 49th.
Sierra Bezdicek was 18th in birdies at the tournament with seven while Loren Skibba chipped in six. As a unit, Northern Arizona recorded 90 pars and 23 birdies.
UCLA leads the invitational at 14-under. Host Arizona (-4), Texas (-2), Long Beach State (+3) and UNLV (+6) round out the top five.
The final round of the Wildcat Invitational will begin on Tuesday morning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.