Freshman's 2nd place impresses coach
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Swimming & Diving
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Fredonia State freshman Sarah Ficarro (Owego) finished second Thursday in the women's 1-meter springboard diving at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving championship meet.
Ficarro had 457.30 points improving on her 431.05 score after Thursday afternoon preliminaries. She was second after preliminaries and dove next to last during the evening session at the University Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus.
Her top-eight finish earned her the distinction of NCAA Division III All-American.
"It reaffirms the fact that she has a tremendous work ethic," Fredonia State diving coach John Crawford said.
"She was the 22nd best diver in New York State last year in high school, and to jump this high is a tremendous credit to her effort."
Trinity (Texas) senior Lindsay Martin won the event with 472.25 points. Martin was first after preliminaries with 455.15 points. She and Ficarro staged a back-and-forth fight for the lead throughout the evening session.
Martin was up by five points after the fourth of sixth voluntaries, then stretched her lead out to 22 points after Round 5. Ficarro hit her final dive of the night to nudge ahead by 36 points, but Martin responded by hitting her final dive and winning the competition.
Ficarro matched the second-place finish by Fredonia State's Kelly Sponholz in the women's 1-meter last year. Sponholz became the first Fredonia State women to win a swimming and diving title when he won the women's 3-meter springboard title in 2009 as a senior.
Ficarro will compete in the 3-meter competition Saturday. There are 22 women in the field.
"I knew there was a possibility (that she would do this well), but I would not have said it was probable," Crawford added. "She had to improve immensely to get to this level. After the Christmas break she came on like gangbusters."
Friday, Fredonia State senior Christian Torres (Dunkirk) will compete in the men's 1-meter springboard event. He earned All-American honors by finishing sixth off the 3-meter board Wednesday.