KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - UCLA's Annika Lenz competed at the AT&T USA Diving National Championships last week (Aug. 12-17), with the rising sophomore competing in four events and winning a Silver Medal in the Platform. Overall, Lenz was the seventh-highest women's point scorer, helping UCLA Diving to a ninth-place finish (31 points).
It all began for Lenz last Tuesday (Aug. 12) with the preliminaries of the Synchronized Women's 3-Meter. Lenz and her partner made the final with a personal best score of 248.64, thanks in part to an exceptional final dive, as the duo finished sixth in the prelims.
Lenz competed in her first Senior National 1-Meter event on Wednesday (Aug. 13). She posted a score of 238.25, finishing 15th, but just 19 points out of the eighth position, which would have qualified her for the final.
The sophomore had two great showings on Thursday (Aug. 14), placing 10th in the preliminaries of the Platform (270.90). She moved up to ninth in the semifinal later that day with a five-dive total of 279.65, securing a spot in the event final. A day later on Aug. 15, a tired Lenz placed 22nd in the 3-Meter prelims (251.05).
The competition for the Bruin concluded on Saturday, as Lenz took part in her two event finals, the Synchro 3-Meter and the Platform. In the Synchro event, Lenz and her partner improved on their prelim score with a total of 257.31 to place fourth, setting another personal best.
After a short break, Lenz took part in the Platform final. Fueled by three huge dives which scored at least 64 points, Lenz won the Silver Medal with a 312.60. It was a personal best and a National Meet-best for Lenz, also falling just .1 shy of the current UCLA school record.
"In watching Anni move all week, it was apparent that she had developed an extra layer of self-confidence that was lacking for much of our collegiate season," UCLA head diving coach Tom Stebbins said. "She moved very well all week, and on Thursday, as she advanced through the early rounds of Platform, it became apparent to me that if she could put a complete list together, something special might happen."
"Sure enough, she did just that in the (Platform) final," Stebbins added. "This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by not only Anni, but (UCLA Athletic Performance Coach) Eric Schmitt, and her teammates. I am really proud of that work and look forward to continuing to grow with her as she develops."
Lenz will have a welcome break from diving until the Bruins return in mid-September to prep for the 2014-2015 campaign.