Three Michigan divers to compete in NCAA Championships
As diving coach Mike Hilde’s diving program gets bigger, it gets stronger too.
With the qualifications of freshmen Ross Todd, Nikki Canale and Christy Cutshaw, this marks the first time since 2004 that Michigan has had both men and women diving at the NCAA Championships in the same year.
“The more divers you have around you… you can get pushed a little bit harder,” said Hilde.
Six divers from the Michigan men’s and women’s Diving teams attended the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships — the qualifier for the upcoming NCAA Championships.
From the group of six, three divers made the cut. From the men's side, Todd qualified on the first day of the Zone C Diving Championships, finishing 9th in the three-meter dive with a score of 698.15 points.
Todd is the first male Wolverine to qualify as a diver for the NCAA Championships since Jacob Coben in 2004.
While the men’s team is still trying to establish its diving program, the women’s team has already proven itself. With Canale and Cutshaw's qualifications, it makes the fifth straight year that a female diver will represent Michigan on the national stage. The two divers will join twelve of their swimmer teammates at the NCAA Championships.
Cutshaw finished sixth on platform Saturday. Tenth place was the minimum needed to qualify. Cutshaw’s performance was truly a testament to her consistency as a diver. She scored 50.00 points or above in all five of her platform dives.
Canale’s performance in the three-meter earned her a spot in the NCAA Championships. She finished in eighth place with a score of 566.60. In the preliminaries, Canale scored a 59.40 on her final dive – getting her into the finals. Her score was separated from the 10th place finisher by a narrow margin of 7.75 points.
Other Wolverines present who didn’t qualify for their respective upcoming championship included sophomore Jake Herremans and freshman Chris Canning for the men’s team and senior Dani VanderZwaag from the women’s team.
Looking ahead to the championships, Hilde says the divers need to “go in there, dive the way they know how to dive.”
“Let’s show the nation who they are,” he added.
From the Zone C Championships, two things became evident about the Michigan divers. Consistency matters, and the freshmen are a force to be reckoned with.