Abi Knapton's fourth-place finish on platform led Nebraska to its best NCAA team finish since 2000-01.
Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Freshman Knapton Notches Best Diving Finish in Nebraska History

By NU Athletic Communications

Indianapolis- Abigail Knapton produced the highest individual finish by a diver in Nebraska history, as she captured fourth place on the platform to cap the Husker effort at the 2017 NCAA Championships.

Knapton, a freshman out of Omaha Marian High School, also became the first freshman diver in Husker history to earn All-America honors with her total of 297.30 in the finals. 

"She showed great poise and character under the glare of the championship spotlight," Nebraska Coach Pablo Morales said. "I am so proud of our diving coach Natasha Chikina and our divers for their hard work and great accomplishments at these championships."

In addition to becoming Nebraska's first All-American in diving as a freshman, Knapton became the Huskers' first first-team All-American in history on the platform. She joins Amy Aarsen as the only All-Americans in Husker history on the platform, as Aarsen notched 14th-place finishes on the event at the 1988 and 1990 NCAA Championships. Aarsen, who was a three-time All-American at Nebraska, is the only multi-time diving All-American in NU history.

"Abi performed very well and was incredibly solid," Chikina added. "Honestly, fourth place at the national championships was a little unexpected, but it shows what hard work and intense focus can do. I am so proud of both Abi and Anna (Filipcic) for their performance here."

Knapton clinched All-America honors with her score of 286.55 in Saturday's platform prelims. She was one of seven Big Ten Conference divers to clinch first-team All-America honors with a spot in the eight-person finals. She turned er performance up a notch in the finals, hitting her dives for a total of 297.30 to climb to fourth place individually and score 15 team points for the Huskers at the NCAA Championships.

On the strength of the best individual diving finish in Nebraska history, the Huskers closed with a 33rd-place team finish. It is Nebraska's best NCAA finish since 2000-01 and second straight top-40 team finish for the Huskers after taking 39th a year ago.

Stanford captured the team title ahead of runner-up California, while Texas A&M, Texas and Georgia rounded out the top five in the team standings.

Northwestern sophomore Olivia Rosendah won the NCAA platform title with a 335.30 in the finals, while Indiana sophomore Jessica Parrato took second with a 314.45. Florida International junior Rebecca Quesnel was the only non-Big Ten diver to finish in the top eight, taking third with a 302.35.

Knapton's performance on platform capped the best freshman campaign by a diver in school history, as she captured 14 top-five finishes including the NCAA Zone D platform championship. Knapton, who also qualified for the NCAA Championships on the three-meter board, managed a 30th-place performance on that event on Friday. At the Big Ten Championships, she took ninth on three meter, 11th on one meter and 14th on the platform.

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