Delaney Schnell gets to go out on top.
The Tucson native and Olympic silver-medalist ended her collegiate career Saturday with her first-ever NCAA national championship, winning the women’s platform finals.
Schnell, a sixth-year graduate student, had accomplished just about every other feat in collegiate diving short of a national title entering NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Two days ago Schnell placed runner-up in the 1-meter finals and on Friday she finished fourth in the 3-meter finals.
The platform dive marked her final competition in a Wildcats uniform.
Heading into the fifth and last dive, Schnell needed 54 points to pass LSU’s Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant. Performing an Inward 3 1⁄2 Somersaults Tuck, Schnell earned just enough, scoring 59.20 to give her the crown.
DELANEY SCHNELL IS A NATIONAL CHAMPION— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) March 19, 2023
The @NCAA platform champion! pic.twitter.com/v3jqv3tOLw
Schnell told ESPN that winning a national championship has been bugging at her for six years.
“I’ve been so close every year and just to end my collegiate diving career with a national title is beyond words,” she said. “I think today I just wanted to go into it and have fun. In the end that’s what it’s all about. Something that my coach always tells me is to dive for the little girl that started in the first place. I think that’s the mindset I wanted to have going into today.”
The Tucson native ends her career with her first career national championship— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) March 19, 2023
Congrats, Delaney!#BearDown | @ArizonaSwimDive pic.twitter.com/7m7qp44lmY
Schnell’s decorated Arizona career includes six Pac-12 individual title championships. She is a five-time All-American in the 1-meter, a four-time All-American in the platform, and a three-time All-American in the 3-meter.
Schnell also won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics in the 10-meter synchronized platform.
Simply put, she’s the best women’s diver in Arizona history and one of the best athletes from Tucson of her generation.