Butler Becomes First Woman To Qualify For NCAA's
March 16, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Despite her third-place finish on the one-meter springboard, redshirt junior Michaela Butler became an automatic qualifier for the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Zone A Diving Meet.
Butler, a Dennisport,Mass. native, becomes the first women's swimmer or diver to qualify for the NCAA meet. She joins Jason Cook (2009) and Billy Brown (1991) as the only other UMass swimming and diving athletes to qualify for NCAA's.
The 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Meet will be held from March 21-23 from the IU Natatorium and the IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind.
Her third-place finish would not have been enough to qualify her for NCAA's if the two people finishing in front of her had not already qualified on day one. So by default two additional qualifying positions were added, one on the one-meter springboard (today) and one on the platform diving (tomorrow).
She moved into the final round by posting a score of 271.80 in the preliminary round, giving her fourth-place in the event 13 points behind Logan Kline of Virginia Tech. In the final round Butler surpassed Kline, posting a final score of 586.80, 21 points ahead of Kline, and enough to qualify her for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Meet.
Mary Atkinson also competed on the women's side, posting a score of 219.80 in the preliminary round giving her a 25th overall finish.
On the men's side both Josh Koppel and Alexander Merkulov competed on the three-meter springboard. Koppel qualified for the finals, posting a 298.40 in the preliminary round for 13th place. The freshman finished the day in 14th place with a total score of 601.30. Merkulov finished just outside the finals qualifiers with a score of 280.20, in 21st place.