BUFFALO, N.Y. - Five University of Connecticut divers will compete in the Zone A Diving Championships this week (March 9-11) at the Alumni Arena Natatorium on the University of Buffalo campus.
Junior Taryn Urbanus (Quincy, Mass.), sophomores Alexandra Butera (Havertown, Pa.) and Michelle Kalupski (Chicago, Ill.) and freshman Monica Marcello (Middletown, Conn.) will all be in action for the UConn women's team, while junior John Brice (Bala Cynwood, Pa.) marks the representative from the men's team. A total of 38 college programs from the Northeast region will be on display in Buffalo, with 56 female divers and 50 male in competition.
"This is the largest meet we have had for a national qualifying event," UConn diving coach John Bransfield said. "There are plenty of highly skilled divers in action this week."
All five Huskies enter the three-day meet in hopes of qualifying for the upcoming NCAA Championships. The men's NCAA Championship is set for March 26-28 in Iowa City, Iowa, while the women's NCAA Championship will take place March 19-21 in Greensboro, N.C.
The top-five women and top-four men from each event (1 and 3-meter) will secure a berth in the NCAA Championship, and there will be an additional qualifier in the men's 1-meter event as well as seven other qualifiers from the remaining events. The extra spots are based off of how representatives from Zone A placed at the 2014 Championship.
The men's 1-meter and women's 3-meter are set for Monday, while the women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter get underway on Wednesday. Each of the five UConn representatives will take part in both diving events this week.
"I feel good about where our divers are at this point of the year," Bransfield said. "The group has shown very nice techniques the past week."
Brice and Urbanus both received American Athletic All-Conference honors last month for their performances at the Conference Championships. The pair of Husky divers have also picked up Diver of the Week accolades earlier this year with Brice winning the award two weeks in a row. Butera was tabbed as the Conference Female Diver of the Week last month (Feb. 3), while Kalupski and Marcello both saw strong finishes to Connecticut's dual meet season.
Last year, Brice and Urbanus both reached finals at the Zone A Meet. Urbanus nearly qualified for the NCAA Championship in the 3-meter, placing fifth (568.50) in the event. She also competed in the finals of the 1-meter, while Brice earned a 13th-place finish in the 3-meter finals with a score of 628.90. This week will also mark the second trip to the Zone Meet for Butera and Kalupski.
UConn fans can follow the action with Live Results of the meet HERE. Check back on UConnHuskies.com tonight for a full recap of day one of the Zone A Diving Championships.