Diving places three at NCAA Regionals

Co-captain McKenzie Murdoch ’14 captured first place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.
Co-captain McKenzie Murdoch ’14 captured first place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.

Last weekend, four Williams divers traveled to RPI to compete in the NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional Championships. Rohan Bhatt ’15 represented men’s swimming and diving, while Michelle Higgins ’15, Ariana Ross ’17 and co-captain McKenzie Murdoch ’14 represented the women. All four divers had exceptional meets, with Murdoch, Higgins and Bhatt all qualifying for the NCAA National Championship in Indianapolis, Ind., from March 19 to 22.

On the men’s side, Bhatt finished the first day of competition on the 1-meter board in eighth place out of 20 divers. Despite a solid score of 485.80, just off of the school record of 489.225, he finished the day without securing a guaranteed spot for the NCAA Championships. However, he stayed strong mentally and bounced back with an incredibly strong Day Two on the 3-meter boards, which placed him in fourth for the day. This stellar performance ensured that he would be the 13th representative of Williams men’s swimming and diving at the National Championships, joining the 12 swimmers who qualified last weekend. His score of 529.65 also smashed his old school record score of 506.60 set in 2013.

The women had an equally successful weekend. On the first day of competition, the three Ephs began with a series of outstanding performances on the 3-meter boards. Murdoch took the top spot overall, leading the pack with a score of 518.05. This automatically qualified Murdoch for the NCAA Div. III National Championships. Higgins also placed very well, taking the fifth-place spot overall with a score of 462.85. Ross rounded out the roster with a very impressive ninth-place finish score of 425.15. The women did not slow their momentum after Day One. On Day Two, the 1-meter diving competition, Murdoch again captured first place overall, while Higgins and Ross each improved on their day one performances to finish out the day in second place and sixth place, respectively. Murdoch scored an

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incredible average of 7.38 points for each dive on Day Two to finish with a total score of 490.60. Higgins was the only other diver at the meet to finish the day with an average score above seven, with a final score of 480.90, and an average of 7.02 points per dive. Ross scored an impressive 444.05 to place sixth for the day.

“I was really impressed with everyone’s performances this weekend,” said Murdoch. “It was a very competitive environment, and I was excited to see everyone excel.”

Murdoch, Higgins, and Bhatt now look to continue their outstanding seasons at the Div. III NCAA National Championships from Mar. 19 to 22 in Indianapolis, Ind., at the IUPUI Natatorium.