Ardavanis, Smithberg Lead Lumberjacks at Falcon Diving
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior Kristy Ardavanis won the 1-meter competition over a field of 46 other divers and junior Gwen Smithberg finished fourth on platform with a program-record 222.50 score to lead a strong NAU showing at the Falcon Diving Invitational. Ardavanis also finished fourth on 3-meter as the Lumberjacks competed with divers from 11 other schools at the weekend event.
"Kristy was just really impressive; she didn't miss a dive in finals and beat strong divers from UCLA and Utah and it was a lot of fun to see," NAU diving coach Nikki Huffman said. "Gwen pretty much did the same thing on tower; she was only eight points out of second place and I thought she deserved second, but all-in-all she did great. We did some really great things and we have some things we still need to work on, but it was really good."
Ardavanis opened competition on 1-meter with a seventh-place prelim score of 265.15 to be included in the field of eight that advanced to the final. There she posted the highest score of any diver in either round, totaling 299.50 to win by nearly 22 points ahead of divers from UCLA, Utah, and others. Freshman Chelsea Jackson placed 14th on 3-meter and Smithberg was 25th in prelims as Ardavanis went on to win the competition.
"Prelims were alright but in the final everything felt right and I hit all my dives like I have been in practice," Ardavanis said. "I didn't really go in with high expectations but I just wanted to go and perform well for myself. I feel a lot more relaxed and confident going into the WAC Championships knowing that I did well against some bigger schools."
Following the 3-meter competition Smithberg went to work on platform, finishing fourth with a score of 222.50 to break the previous school record of 221.75 set by Danielle Borth at the 2008 WAC Championships. Smithberg had recorded the top platform score in the WAC this season with a 216.00 total at Arizona and last season posted what was the fourth highest platform score in program history with a 217.10 score at the WAC Championships. Jackson was the next highest NAU finisher in 22nd followed by Ardavanis at 25th.
To close the meet on 3-meter, Ardavanis totaled the 2nd highest prelim score on the board with a 298.65 total. She would go on to score 290.35 to place fourth in the final, again finishing ahead of UCLA divers. Jackson also had another strong showing on the board, scoring 236.15 to place 23rd overall.
The Lumberjack divers and swimmers will reconvene to end their regular season in a dual at Arizona State next Saturday.
1. Kristy Ardavanis – 299.50
7. Kristy Ardavanis – 265.15
14. Chelsea Jackson – 246.40
25. Gwen Smithberg – 220.55
29. Carlye Townsend – 216.95
42. Jane Wakefield – 178.00
4. Ardavanis – 290.35
2. Ardavanis – 298.65
23. Jackson – 236.15
39. Wakefield – 188.55
4. Smithberg – 222.50
22. Jackson – 174.60
25. Ardavanis – 168.05
32. Wakefield – 152.10
37. Townsend – 134.35