National Champion Again: Chen Ni Claims Her Second National Title
March 19, 2012
IUPUI senior diver Chen Ni closed out her senior season in style Saturday (March 17, 2012) evening at the NCAA Championships by claiming the National Championship winning the platform dive with a score of 343.05.
The victory gives Ni her second National Championship after winning the platform dive back in 2010.
“This National Championship means that I am getting stronger and this is the best way I can think of to pay back the coaches and administration who have supported me throughout my career,” Ni said.
In similar fashion to her performance at the NCAA Zone C Championships, Ni got off to a great start scoring 74.20 on her first dive, an Inward 2 1/2 Somersault Pike, before scoring a 69.60 on her hardest dive, a Back 2 1/2 Somersault Pike.
Despite registering a score of 54.00 on her third dive, the IUPUI senior rebounded with scores of 66.15 and 70.20 in her final two prelims dives to total 334.15 points. That point total put her in second place after the prelims trailing Tennessee’s Victoria Lamp by 16.30 with five dives remaining.
In the finals, Ni’s second dive, a Back 2 1/2 Somersault Pike with a 2.9 degree of difficulty, earned 82.65 points, catapulting her into first place.
After her third dive, Ni held on to a 0.75-point lead, before her fourth dive nearly received 9.0’s across the board helping her extend her lead to 13.60 points with one dive to go.
In her final dive, Ni’s Back 2 1/2 Somersault 1/2 Twist Pike scored 9.0-9.0-9.0-8.5-9.0-9.5-8.5 was good enough to claim the national title by 9.60 points.
Ni finishes her career with two Summit League Diver of the Meet honors, and has been named an All-American three times while claiming two national titles. Prior to Ni earning All-American honors in 2009, no other IUPUI athlete had been named an All-American.
With Ni’s first place finish, the Jaguars finished 26th in the country.