All-American Honor Highlights 2023 Women’s NCAA Diving Championship for Utah Women’s Team


Jack Gambassi

Diver during the swim and dive meet vs. the Colo Mesa Mavericks on Jan. 23, 2021 at the Ute Natatorium on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Austin Eames, Sports Writer


From March 15-18, two of Utah’s best aquatic athletes took to the pools of Knoxville, Tennessee to compete in the 2023 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

NCAA Diving Zone E Championships 

Both Holly Waxman and Kathryn Grant had superb individual seasons for the Utah women’s diving program, the culmination of which was the NCAA Diving Zone E Championships in early March, where each athlete performed well enough to clinch spots in the collegiate diving championships.

For those who may not be familiar with how qualifying for an NCAA National Championship event works, there are five zone meets spread across the country. Each meet gives divers from surrounding areas a chance to qualify for the more expansive national competition. In each event at a zone meet, the top five female and top four male finishers punch tickets to the Championship. Additionally, each zone may be entitled to further qualifying spots based on how competitors for the respective zone placed in the previous NCAA Championship.

That being said, Waxman’s journey to Knoxville began on March 6, when the diver posted a score of 322.60 points in the women’s 3m. The score secured fifth-place overall and procured a highly sought-after NCAA Championship qualifying mark in the event. Waxman achieved not one, but two more national qualifying scores in the coming days; first in the women’s platform with a score of 254.1, and also in the 1m competition with a final score of 296.65 points.

Grant also achieved greatness during the zone championships. On the final day of competition, still in pursuit of a nationals qualifying score, Grant struck gold. With a personal best score of 297.60 points in the women’s 1m, Grant came in clutch and confirmed her spot at nationals. Additionally, Grant managed a score good enough to make the nationals platform competition, scoring 256.25 points after narrowly missing out on what was thought to be the last qualifying spot.

NCAA National Diving Championship

Coming into the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, all eyes were on both Waxman and Grant to see if the Ute athletes could put together strong scores. Waxman in particular, as she had a chance to become the first Utah diver ever, male or female, to achieve All-American honors in three different events. 

On the first day of competition at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, Waxman succeeded in becoming an All-American. In a field of the country’s 50 best competitors, the diver finished 15th overall with a final score of 283.75 points. Waxman’s placement was the highest ever by Utah in the women’s 1m.

Grant also put together a great performance in the 1m event. The freshman from Canada placed 25th overall in her first-ever NCAA Championship event with a score of 253.65 points.

“Holly accomplished her goal of scoring points for the team and she earned the highest finish on 1m in Utah history,” said head diving coach Richard Marschner after the first day of competition,

 “Now she can really dive loose and go for it on 3m and tower. Kathryn showed her mettle yet again and put together an amazing performance as freshman,” Marschner continued. “I’m really excited for her tower event on Saturday. ” 

On day two of the competition, Waxman competed in her second event of the meet and placed 42nd overall in the women’s 3m. Waxman scored 239.25 points in the preliminary round of the event and was unable to secure a spot in the final. While the score may not have been what Waxman hoped for, she would have one more event on the meet’s final day to wrap up her season and potentially make another All-American honor. 

On the final day of the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, Waxman and Grant finished their season strong competing in one last platform event together. Together, both the divers almost achieved a top-25 finish. Grant ended up having the better placement of the two, earning 21st place overall with a final score of 249.10 points. The diver’s score was good enough to be one of the top-five Pac-12 finishes in the event. Additionally, Waxman finished 26th overall with a final score of 233.20 points to cap off an amazing week.

“What an NCAAs by Holly and Kathryn,” Marschner said. “They both competed extremely well and we had some great results. Both of them went into today with a tremendous competitive attitude and they did not back down or get intimidated. In fact, I think they’re starting to intimidate people with how well they’re diving. Everyone on deck knows that these two are going to be a force in the national scene for the next few years and our confidence continues to grow. I personally thought Kathryn did enough to join Holly as an All-American and couldn’t be happier with both of them. The future of Utah diving is burning bright.”

Although no female swimmers from the University of Utah made it to the NCAA Championships, both Andrei Ungur and Jaek Horner from the men’s side of Utes swimming look to perform strongly at the 2023 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn.

Moreover, Luke McDivitt and Elias Petersen of the men’s diving team also get a chance at All-American honors during the competition which occurs from March 22-25.


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