GENEVA, Ohio - UC San Diego’s Luke Calkins advanced past the pre-qualification diving meet Tuesday at the SPIRE Institute and into the main draw of the NCAA Division II Championships, which begin Wednesday, March 12.
Calkins, a senior from Kansas City, Kan., earned the opportunity to compete in preliminaries of both the one-meter and three-meter springboard diving events. Divers earning NCAA qualifying scores during the regular season are subject to the pre-qualification competition prior to the start of the actual meet, at the site of the NCAA Championships each year.
Though Calkins has qualified to travel to the NCAA meet in all four of his seasons as a Triton, this now marks the third straight year in which he has moved on into the NCAA Championships proper.
Junior Adam Springer and sophomores Allyson Cohen and Garet Webster also participated in pre-qualification, each after earning a first trip to nationals, but were unable to advance into the main draw.
Through his qualification, Calkins was also honored with the NCAA Elite 89 award for Division II men’s swimming and diving, as announced on Tuesday night.
Founded by the NCAA and presented for each of the 89 championships the NCAA sponsors, the award is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of those championships.
Calkins is a mechanical engineering student at Warren College who carries a grade-point average of 3.947. He is a two-time Capital One Academic All-American among numerous other academic distinctions throughout his career.
Calkins becomes the fourth Triton in five years to claim the award, following former baseball pitcher Elias Tuma in 2010 (3.989, cognitive science), former men’s water polo standout Brian Donohoe in 2011 (3.952, history), and senior pole vaulter on the men’s track and field squad Clint Rosser a year ago (3.97, environmental engineering).
Calkins will compete in the one-meter event on the second day of the NCAA Championships on Thursday, with trials at 11 a.m. PT, and finals held during the evening finals session beginning at 3 p.m. PT. The three-meter event is at those same times on Saturday, March 15. All sessions can be watched live online, free of charge, at NCAA.com.