Rowan men’s diving standout John Morris had a spectacular weekend at this year’s NCAA Division III Region 4 Diving Championships, capping off the month of February.
Morris would finish the two-day meet placing second on the three-meter board (11 dives, 533.60 points), and fourth on the one-meter board (11 dives, 477.85 points). With his performance on the first day of regionals, the junior diver would also qualify for the Division III Men’s Championships in mid-March.
“We’ve been training all year in preparation for this,” diving coach Jesse Lyman said. “Based on [Morris’] previous experiences, we were able to cater a workout program that would put him in an even better position to final at NCAA’s.”
With his name now in the lineup for the national meet, Morris could reflect on his time at regionals.
“It was really amazing. Friday was a stressful day, but I got second and knew that I was now automatically going to nationals,” said Morris, who was named New Jersey Athletic Conference Diver of the Week for the seventh time of the season on Feb. 29. “Going into Saturday was a great relief, and I was able to enjoy the moment and have some fun. Getting qualified on the first day let me enjoy the meet.”
Morris is no stranger when it comes to the DIII Championships. This will be his third time competing there in as many years.
“I’m really proud that Rowan gets to have someone at this meet. We get to represent our banner, and this year is going to be better than any other year,” Morris said. “We have eight guys going this year, and more seem to be getting qualified year in and year out. People are seeing that we are getting to the point where the whole team can be there, and that this is an elite program.”
Now with three years of experience, Morris is one of the top divers heading into the championship meet, but Lyman has focused on having the junior “ironing out a couple wrinkles.”
“He’s a great diver for the program and the sport itself. He comes in every single practice focused on improving his teammates and himself, and it has been contagious for the rest of this program,” said Lyman. “Him and I both had goals in the beginning of the year, and we have kept them in front of us in order to have this year that he’s having.”
The DIII Swimming and Diving Championships will commence Wednesday, March 16, and run through Saturday, March 19, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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