FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – On the short list of the most accomplished divers in Northern Arizona program history, senior Alexa Geiger and NAU alum Chelsea Jackson will compete at the USA Diving Winter National Championships in Columbus, Ohio starting Thursday. The competition will take place on Ohio State University's campus at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Geiger – currently in the midst of her final collegiate season – and Jackson – a 2016 graduate – will be among many who will be vying for a spot on a number of U.S. rosters. The meet will be used to select the Red, White and Blue rosters for the 2017 World University Games, 2017 FINA Grand Prix meets and the 1-meter spots for the 2017 World Championships.
They will kick off meet Thursday afternoon with the 1-meter springboard preliminary at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time. Should they advance to the finals, the 1-meter final will be Sunday at 2 p.m. Arizona time.
In addition to competing individually in the 1-meter springboard competition, they will also team up for the synchronized 3-meter springboard event with prelims and finals both on Friday starting at 7 a.m. Arizona time. It will mark their second competition as a synchronized duo with the first coming at the 2014 USA Diving Zone D Championships.
"We've done one synchro meet together before a few summers ago," Geiger said. "We did pretty well. We have natural chemistry together, and we just both know how to dive together (as a team). We're both really excited to see how this meet goes."
Both Geiger and Jackson earned their qualifying scores for this week's Winter Nationals at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in February.
This season, Geiger has four dual meet victories including three on 1-meter. She has received the WAC Diver of the Week award twice coming off a season in which she was named the WAC Diver of the Year. Last season, she won gold on both springboards at the conference championships.
Jackson meanwhile has continued training right in her hometown of Flagstaff since graduating in the spring. She wrapped up her career with eight WAC medals including the 3-meter gold as a junior at the 2014 championships. Jackson also is the owner of the second-best scores on platform and 3-meter and the third-highest score on 1-meter in school history.
Regardless how this weekend plays out, the meet will be valuable experience for both divers as they will continue having their eyes on 2020 Summer Olympics.
"I'm really excited for both Chelsea and I," Geiger said. "We're trying to get more experience at USA Diving meets and both of us have decided to continue training for four more years to see how far we can go in the sport. For us, we want to get our name out there and see how we do against other competitors."