UK's Ignacio Returns to NCAA Championships

ATHENS, Ga.— Senior Taryn Ignacio qualified for the NCAA Championships on the platform in her quest to repeat as national champion in the event on Sunday at the NCAA Zone Championships hosted by the University of Georgia.

Ignacio placed second overall, good for one of the four competitors to advance to the NCAA Championships from Zone ‘B’. The Richmond, Ky., native totaled 618.60 points with 10 dives over the course of the preliminary and final rounds.

Miami’s Brittany Viola scored 644.45 to take the number one finish today.

Junior Kari Retrum placed 10th overall with a score of 476.50. She entered the final round in 11th place and moved up one spot in the rankings. Despite not qualifying on platform, Retrum will participate in the NCAA Championships on the one-meter springboard, and may earn a spot in the three-meter competition.

On the men’s side, sophomore Justin Smith placed 14th overall on the platform after scoring 524.15 points.

Ignacio will participate in both the platform and one-meter event for the second consecutive season. She placed eighth overall nationally on the one-meter, and then went on to claim Kentucky’s first ever national championship when she set NCAA records on the platform event at last season’s event.

Ignacio and Retrum will be joined by the swimming team at the NCAA Championships March 8-11, in Minneapolis, Minn. The University of Minnesota is hosting this year’s national event.

There are five Zone competitions going on this weekend, and the top 35 men and the top 41 women will advance to the NCAA Championships. Eight of those men and 11 of those women will come from Zone B. Over 90 divers participated this weekend.

Divers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, North Carolina State, North Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech will compete for 19 spots in the NCAA Championships.

The other Zone Diving Championships are taking place at Rutgers, Michigan, Texas and Oklahoma City Community College.

Complete coverage of UK’s three divers at the NCAA Zone Championships can be found at