Week #12: Bridgewater, Lohman, Ropeik to Compete at Zones

March 7, 2011

Thu-Sat., March 10-12 -- at NCAA Zone C Diving Regionals (Columbus, Ohio), 1 p.m./11 a.m.
Live Results | Meet Information

Three divers from the University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships this weekend at the NCAA Zone C Diving Regionals at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The three-day event starts with the three-meter on Thursday (March 10), with the one-meter at 1 p.m. Friday and the platform starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 10 -- One-meter (men), three-meter (women), 1 p.m.
Friday, March 11 -- Three-meter (men), one-meter (women), 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 -- 10-meter Platform (men and women), 11 a.m.

How to Qualify For NCAA Championships
Each of the five national zones get four automatic qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships. Zone C has been allocated a total of 10 spots for the NCAA Championships, meaning there are six at-large berths on the line this weekend.

Who's Going?
Three divers -- senior Rachael Ropeik (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron), junior Amanda Lohman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and freshman Erin Bridgewater (Kawkawlin, Mich./Bay City Western) -- will represent Michigan at the meet this weekend.

Top Marks

  Season Career
Amanda Lohman (JR)    
One-meter 308.40 (10/8/10 vs. MINN) 310.45 (2/18/10 at Big Tens)
Three-meter 352.50 (10/8/10 vs. MINN) 352.50 (10/8/10 vs. MINN)
Platform 260.18 (1/8/11 at IU) 260.18 (1/8/11 at IU)
Rachael Ropeik (SR)    
One-meter 275.20 (1/29/11 vs. PSU) 275.20 (1/29/11 vs. PSU)
Three-meter 333.30 (1/28/11 at MSU) 333.30 (1/28/11 at MSU)
Platform 285.55 (2/19/11 at Big Tens) 295.50 (1/9/10 vs. IU)
Erin Bridgewater (FR)    
One-meter 270.55 (1/29/11 vs. PSU) 270.55 (1/29/11 vs. PSU)
Three-meter 260.45 (2/18/11 at Big Tens) 260.45 (2/18/11 at Big Tens)
Platform 226.43 (1/8/11 at IU) 226.43 (1/8/11 at IU)
This season, Lohman and Ropeik each set two new career highs (Lohman on three-meter and platform, Ropeik on one- and three-meter).

When they Qualified
Below is a list of when each athlete qualified for the zone meet.

One-meter: 308.40 (Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota)
Three-meter: 352.50 (Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota)
Platform: 260.18 (Jan. 8 vs. Indiana)

One-meter: 255.10 (Jan. 15 vs. Northwestern/Notre Dame)
Three-meter: 302.85 (Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota)
Platform: 255.90 (Jan. 8 vs. Indiana)

One-meter: 269.54 (Jan. 28 at MSU)

At the Helm
The Michigan divers are under the direction of KZ Li, who is in his first year in Ann Arbor.

Li has spent his entire 19-year career as a head coach. Prior to coming to Michigan, he was co-head coach of the U.S. Elite Diving Academy in Columbus, Ohio, for the last two years. Before that, Li led the National Training Centre of Diving in Melbourne, Australia, from 2006-08. In Melbourne, Li's divers won 14 gold medals at the 2007 and 2008 Australian Elite Junior National Championships and two bronze medals at the 2008 Junior World Championships. His divers also won one gold and two silvers at the 2008 Australian Open (Senior) National Championships, with one diver finishing as high as fifth at the 2008 FINA World Championships.

He has Big Ten experience, as he was the head diving coach at the University of Minnesota for seven years (1996-2003), where he produced eight NCAA All-Americans, six Big Ten champions and 45 Big Ten Championships finalists. In addition, three of his divers won Big Ten Diver of the Year and four were selected as Big Ten Diver of the Championships. Li is a two-time Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year, winning the honor in 2001 (men) and 1998 (women).

Last Season at Zones
Lohman qualified for the NCAA Championships last season after finishing second on the one-meter board at the Zone Regional meet. At the 2010 NCAA Championships, Lohman finished 18th on one-meter and 36th on three-meter. She was the first U-M diver to qualify for the national meet since Elyse Lee (2005-08) in 2008.

Preview of NCAA Championships
Six swimmers have qualified for the 2011 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, held March 17-19 in Austin, Texas. To read the complete release, click here.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423