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San Diego State Divers Gear Up For 2007-08 Campaign

Sophomore Caitlin Atkinson broke the school record in both the one- and three-meter boards and also qualified for the NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals in 2006-07.
Sophomore Caitlin Atkinson broke the school record in both the one- and three-meter boards and also qualified for the NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals in 2006-07.

Oct. 3, 2007

SAN DIEGO - The tides are turning for the San Diego State women's diving team. Only six years ago, the Aztec squad consisted of one walk-on. Now, with a brand new on-campus facility and six extremely talented divers, SDSU is looking to make a splash in 2007-08.

San Diego State has come a long way from its one-person diving team in 2003. During the 2006-07 campaign, not only did two divers become the school's first-ever NCAA Zone E Diving Regional qualifiers, but the top three marks in Aztec history for both springboard events were established. With SDSU welcoming back all five divers from its record-breaking season and the addition of a Missouri state champion, the Scarlet and Black have even greater expectations for 2007-08.

Kathleen Heuring, who suffered a season-ending injury just two years ago, returns for her junior campaign. Heuring, who is the most experienced of a young SDSU squad, is currently second in the Aztec record book for the 11-dive, three-meter event (359.15). She also set personal-bests last year in both the one-meter (six dives, 253.20) and three-meter (258.75) boards. Heuring showed what she is capable of when she swept both springboard events in the double dual meet against Northern Colorado and Boise State.

"Kathleen definitely holds the leadership role on this team," said Aztec diving coach Jim Wynne. "She is experienced, hard working and persistent. Kathleen sets the tone for our workouts and meets, and she is very valuable as a leader on this team."

Megan Flanagan, who was one of San Diego State's top performers last year, also returns for her junior year. Flanagan had a record-setting season in 2007, as she established the second-best scores for both the one- and three-meter events in SDSU history and became the first-ever Aztec to qualify for the NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals, along with teammate Caitlin Atkinson. Flanagan established her qualifying score when she captured the three-meter board with a point total of 256.13 at North Texas.

"Megan is a very competitive and strong-willed athlete," said Wynne. "She is extremely hard working and is very driven to achieve. Her work ethic also carries over into the classroom, as she is a great student."

Sophomore Caitlin Atkinson also qualified to compete in the NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals last year, where she just missed the cutoff for the finals by nine points. In only her first year at San Diego State, Atkinson broke the school record in the one-meter with a score of 273.15, and in the three-meter with her point total of 265.50. She was a double winner in the springboard events at three dual meets, including Loyola Marymount, Howard and San Diego.

"Caitlin is such a pleasure to coach and she works extremely hard," said Wynne. "This year she will be looking to raise the bar with the goals that she has set for herself. Caitlin will challenge many of the top divers in the Mountain West Conference."

Sophomore Amy Freeberg is one of SDSU's top returning tower divers. Last year she finished seventh in the platform event at the USC Diving Invitational. She also became the first Aztec to ever compete in the event at the MWC title meet and finished a very respectable 10th with a score of 197.50. Freeberg also recorded the third-best point total in school history in three-meter diving with a score of 263.09 at the double dual meet against Utah.

"Amy is a lot of fun to coach," said Wynne. "She will challenge for one of the top spots at the MWC championships in the platform event. Amy is a very experienced diver and she is committed to a higher set of goals for herself this season."

Sophomore Kristen Maurer also returns as one of the Aztecs' top tower divers. She compiled a score of 159.15 in her first collegiate platform event at the USC Diving Invitational. Maurer also established the third-best point total in school history for the three-meter board at the dual meet against Howard (232.27). Maurer is an outstanding student as well, as she was named to the MWC all-academic team as a freshman.

"Kristen is very talented and works really hard," said Wynne. "She has tons of untapped potential, which we expect to see more of this year. She has trained hard all summer and has put in the work to be successful."

Rounding out the Aztecs' diving roster is freshman Keely Brooks. Brooks was a four-year letterwinner at Clayton High School in St. Louis, Mo., where she holds three of her school's four diving records. Perhaps the greatest achievement of her diving career so far was when she won the Missouri state championship in the one-meter event (416.45) as a senior.

"Keely has a wealth of experience and is extremely talented in all of the diving events, including the platform," said Wynne. "She should make an immediate impact on our team and she will definitely turn some heads in our conference throughout the year."

The San Diego State swimming and diving team will hold its second Red and Black meet on Oct. 12 at 2:30 p.m., before its first regular season home meet at the Aztec Aquaplex on Oct. 27, when they host a quad-meet with MWC-foes Air Force, Colorado State and New Mexico.