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Hawkeye divers move on to final round at Diving Nationals

BY MAGGIE CUNNINGHAM | JANUARY 31, 2011 7:10 AM

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After competing in the 2011 U.S. Diving National’s first day of competition, UI seniors Deidre Freeman and Veronica Rydze are pleased with their performance.

The competition kicked off at 10 a.m. Sunday in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center with the men’s synchronized platform diving preliminary and the women’s 3-meter synchronized diving preliminary.

The Freeman-Rydze team got off to a strong start in the synchronized dive. After the event concluded, the two were looking at either a fourth or fifth seed for the finals, which will be held Tuesday evening.

“I think we did really well in the synchro,” Rydze said. “We missed a few of our dives, but we still made the finals, so there is a lot of room to improve and move up in our ranking.”

In August, the pair finished fourth in the 3-meter synchronized dive at the 2010 Summer National Championships. That finish, along with a strong final at this competition, will increase their chances of being invited to the World Championships in July.



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The two Hawkeyes are looking forward to the final, but they did not have the same success in the individual 3-meter dive.

Rydze finished in 20th, and she will not advance to the final round after she missed one of her dives.

“Veronica was too straight up on a back two-and-a-half [a diving rotation] and just tipped her feet, so she lost about 15 points there,” diving coach Bob Rydze said. “And she only missed [finals] by about seven points. Otherwise, she dove really well, but you can’t do that and make it.”

Just three places behind her teammate, Freeman will also not advance to the final round.

Freeman was injured in practice on Jan. 24, and she says the partial biceps tear “definitely” affected her finish in this event.

“We had to change her back and reverse from pike to tuck,” Bob Rydze said. “And she hasn’t done the tuck in over a year. She went over on both of them, and that’s going to happen when you haven’t practiced them.

“She did a great job for being in pain.”

Because of a successful top-12 finish in the outdoor championships, Freeman does not have to compete in the 1-meter preliminary. She has a bye and will automatically go to the semifinal round, which is set for Wednesday, giving her extra time to heal.

“If I were doing the 1-meter tomorrow, I don’t know if I’d be able to do it, because my entire list is pikes,” Freeman said.

She does not anticipate struggling with the injury in the synchronized finals, because the list of dives includes only tucks.

It has been a challenge for Freeman to compete on an injured shoulder, but she said a positive attitude will only make things better.

“Maybe this will keep my mind off being nervous and stuff like that,” she said. “Maybe it could help me in the long run.”


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