Four Hurricanes Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four Miami Hurricanes punched their tickets to the upcoming 2021 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships with standout performances on Day 1 of NCAA Zone B qualifiers Sunday.
Second-year divers Max Flory, Brodie Scapens and Mia Vallée, along with freshman Emma Gullstrand, will all represent the University of Miami at the NCAA Championships after impressing in their respective events at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Vallée and Gullstrand were the top-two finishers on the 1-meter, with Vallée (618.60) finishing just ahead of Gullstrand (608.80).
Sunday’s outing continues an impressive stretch for Vallée, who won a gold medal in the event at the same venue last month with a dominant showing at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships.
“Mia has been rock solid. She hasn’t missed a dive on 1-meter in four lists here – two at the conference meet and two today. She has been straight up and down every time,” head diving coach Randy Ableman said. “She has made it easy on me.”
Gullstrand, who enrolled at Miami in January, showed the type of potential Ableman was expecting from the accomplished Swedish international.
“Emma did a couple of the best dives of the whole competition. She was a little shaky on a couple little things, but she really showed that she has more jumping power than any girl in the contest,” Ableman said. “When she puts it all together, she’s going to be a force.”
In the men’s 3-meter, Scapens finished second (816.55) while Flory took sixth (744.05).
“Brodie had his best performance of his career on 3-meter in the finals,” Ableman said. “I’ve been waiting for two years to see him put a list together like that on springboard. His forte has been 10-meter, but he’s a good 3-meter diver. He’s been inconsistent, but he really put it together in the finals. That was fantastic. Max also had a great showing”
Freshman Jack Matthews, who finished 11th (689.75), still has a chance to compete in the 3-meter at the NCAA Championships if he’s able to finish in the top 10 on either remaining board (platform, 1-meter).
The women’s 3-meter and men’s platform are set for Monday.
“You have to qualify event by event,” Ableman said. “A bad performance and you miss out on your best event at the NCAA Championships. Tomorrow is the men’s 10-meter, which is our strongest event, so we have to bring it.”