Five women divers land qualifying bids at Zone meet

Samuel Saucer

Texas will be well-represented on the diving boards when Austin’s Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center hosts the NCAA women’s national championship next week.

Five Longhorn divers qualified for the national meet with their performances at the Zone D competition held this Monday through Wednesday in Austin. The list of advancing Longhorns includes Meghan O’Brien, Alison Gibson, Sofia Rauzi, Paola Pineda and Murphy Bromberg.

O’Brien, Gibson and Bromberg each secured their spots on opening night with top-12 finishes in the 3-meter, while Rauzi followed suit with a strong showing in Tuesday’s 1-meter event. Freshman Pineda punched her ticket on the final day of the meet by placing fourth in platform diving.

“Overall, we did what we had to do,” Bromberg said. “We had people qualify in all three events. Some were definitely easier than others. But at the end of the day, all that matters at this event is that you qualify.”

Bromberg is certainly no stranger to the high-stakes of postseason play. The six-year senior veteran has already competed in three NCAA championships, representing the Texas women in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

She will be performing at this year’s national meet in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving.

“I’m feeling pretty good compared to this time last year,” Bromberg said. “Last year, I was still recovering from surgery and hadn’t had much of a chance to practice on the 10-meter yet. Having one whole more year of reps under my belt certainly helps.”

Despite health issues, Bromberg placed second in platform and sixth in the 3-meter at last season’s NCAA championships. Now at full recovery, she will have an opportunity to compete for a national title in her final collegiate meet.

“I love that it’s going to be home,” Bromberg said. “It takes a few factors out of it. We don’t have to pick our boards. We know the pool well. We know our spots well. And we also don’t have to get on an airplane which is also really nice.”

Bromberg continued, “Right now we’re just going to take a breath and rest. And then next week we’ll go through our normal practice routine until it’s time to compete.”

The NCAA meet is scheduled to be held March 20 through March 23.