MacKay punches ticket to NCAA National Championship

MacKay punches ticket to NCAA National Championship

GRINNELL, Iowa — It took him four years, but the best male diver in the University of La Verne swimming and diving history has finally earned a trip to the NCAA National Championship.

Scott MacKay posted a pair of second-place finishes at the Zone Diving Championships at Russell K. Osgood Natatorium and will compete at the 2016 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship on March 16-19 at Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

"It doesn't feel real yet," MacKay said of his qualification. "I'm still kind of in shock that I just accomplished what I did, to be honest."

After placing second on the 3-meter board with an 11-dive score of 464.05 behind Grinnell's Daniel Goldstein on Friday, MacKay needed to win the 1-meter outright or the results to hold on the 1-meter board on Saturday.

He clinched his spot--one of just two out of the West region--in a dramatic fashion. Sitting in third place with just one dive left, MacKay scored just enough on his final dive to overtake Duncan Macaskill of Trinity (Texas). He finished second behind Goldstein with a score of 418.60.

"I was thinking, 'Well, this is my last dive of my collegiate career, let's make it count!'," MacKay said. "I didn't feel like I dove very well so I was sincerely surprised when I heard I qualified."

MacKay will be La Verne's lone representative at this year's national championship and will go in with an open mind.

"I really don't have any expectations for nationals, at least in terms of rankings," MacKay said. "I am always my own hardest critic, so I do expect a lot from myself based on how I know I can perform."