Zhang was named the Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the Year in 2014.
March 14, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - For only the fourth time in swimming and diving program, the Salukis will send a diver to the NCAA Diving Championships.
Saluki sophomore Kaixuan Zhang automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn., with her third-place score of 605.10 in the 1-meter competition at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships hosted by Ohio State. The Hu Bei, China, native finished behind Purdue's Casey Matthews, who bested the field of 45 divers with a score of 616.20, and Illinois State's Wengting Zhang who finished second.
The divers with the top 18 scores from the preliminary round advanced to the finals of the 1-meter competition. Zhang sat in second place after the prelims with a score of 296.55 and bested that with a score of 310.85 in the finals to finish with her total of 607.40. Just three weeks ago at the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Championship Zhang was named MVC Diver of the Year while Joy Zhao was named MVC Diving Coach of the Year.
With Zhang's qualification for the NCAA Championship in the 1-meter competition, Zhang will also be eligible to compete in the 3-meter competition. She will compete in the 3-meter competition at the NCAA Zone C Diving Qualifier Friday, with hopes of securing another top finish.
Continued live scoring of the Zone C meet can be found at DiveMeets.com on Friday once the completion begins.