After two successful meets in Austin, Texas, already this month, Kansas senior diver Vicky Xu returned to the Jamail Texas Swimming Center to compete in the 2019 NCAA Swim and Dive Championships.
The competition officially began on Wednesday, but Xu competed for the first time on Thursday morning, placing seventh in the one-meter preliminary with a score of 299.25.
That score was good enough to place her in the one-meter finals on Thursday evening. In the finals, Xu posted a 284.60 mark, giving her an eighth place finish and All-American honors.
“We have never had one diver represent Kansas by herself at the NCAA meet. We have had a swimmer but never a diver,” Kansas coach Clark Campbell said, according to a Kansas Athletics press release. “But the great thing about Vicky is that she is used to high-level competitions.”
Xu took home the Big 12 title in three-meter diving at the beginning of March. She qualified for both the one-meter and three-meter championships with a monster performance last week at the NCAA Zone D competition.
In the Zone D qualifiers, Xu placed first in the three-meter finals, her best event. Xu holds the Big 12 conference record for three-meter diving as well.
"It is no secret that the three-meter is her better event, and so we approached today as sort of her warm-up for tomorrow," Kansas diving coach Gabe Downey said, according to a Kansas Athletics press release.
Xu joined Kansas in January at the start of the spring semester but has already left a lasting mark on the program in her first and only semester of eligibility.
“Having Vicky has been huge for our program,” Downey said. “We knew going into it that we were getting an elite-level athlete. And yes, she has surpassed anything we could have hoped for.”
Xu will compete in the three-meter preliminary event on Friday starting at 11:30 a.m. followed by the finals at 5 p.m.
—Edited by Nolan Brey