Nicholson qualifies for Zone Diving Championships


Photo:Jordan Maurice/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore diver Jessica Nicholson competes during the women’s alumni swim and diving meet. Nicholson along with varsity and alumni divers fought for first place Friday, Sept. 30, at Beyer Hall.

Travis Cammon

Oct. 29 was not just a victory for the ISU swimming and diving team against South Dakota State, it was also a personal victory for Jessica Nicholson.

The redshirt sophomore diver earned a score of 291.15 in the 3-meter dive, which qualified her for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in March.

“All of her hard work and experience that she’s put in is paying off,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “This is how I knew she could dive now she’s just putting it all together.”

Nicholson, a native of Des Moines, competed for the Cyclones last year, finishing 17th on the 3-meter with a score of 242.75 and 14th on the platform with a score of 194.15 at the Big 12 Championships.

“I was a little bit disappointed when I didn’t make it to zone last year,” Nicholson said. “So I think that was a little bit more motivation for me.”

After five dual meets, Nicholson is the first diver to qualify for the Zone championships.

“I didn’t expect her to qualify so soon,” Warrick said. “She was so close so many times last year, I always knew she could do it so it was really nice to see her get it accomplished.”

Senior captain Sarah Nelson, who is also working to qualify for Zone Diving, had nothing but good things to say about Nicholson and was really excited for her.

“Jessica is really hardworking,” Nelson said. “She comes to practice and works really hard every day and I’m really happy for her.”

Even though she has now qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving event in March, Nicholson said she is not going to get complacent.

“I need to stay focused,” Nicholson said. “I’m pretty excited I made it to zone but I’m looking to compete and use practice and the rest of this year to keep up with the competition.”

Nicholson and the rest of the Cyclones will get a chance to compete again at the Northwestern Invitational in Evanston, Ill., on Nov. 18.