Heath Ogawa Captures NCAA Title in 3M Diving

Photos by d3photography.com
Photos by d3photography.com

Lake Forest junior Heath Ogawa won the 3-meter diving event at the NCAA Division III Championship Meet Wednesday night to claim his first career national title. His 573.60 points were 20 more than the runner-up.

Ogawa qualified for the finals in the event by finishing second in the afternoon prelims with 509.30 points. The scores in the five rounds of voluntary dives carry over to the finals, which began with Ogawa in third. After dropping three spots on his first dive of the evening, he posted the highest score of the competition with 72.85 points on a forward three-and-a-half somersault in the pike position to climb into contention in second place. Despite racking up 126 points in the next two rounds combined, Ogawa dropped to third place with two dives remaining. A score of 61.50 on his fifth attempt of the evening gave him the lead and he clinched the title with 72 points on a forward two-and-a-half somersault with a twist in the pike position.

Ogawa also had the highest score on an individual attempt in the prelims with 69.75 points on the same dive he tallied 72.85 a few hours later. He improved from the afternoon to the evening on each of his six dives and by a total of 64.30 points.

While Wednesday night's victory was his first national championship, it was the second All-American performance for Ogawa, who placed eighth in the 1-meter event as a freshman. He is also a three-time Honorable Mention All-American with top-16 finishes in each of his other events as a freshman and sophomore.

Ogawa is just the second Forester male to claim a national title, joining Daniel Tarkowski, who tied for first in the 100-freestyle in 1994. 

After a day off from competition, Ogawa will be one of 24 participants in 1-meter diving on Friday. The diving prelims will begin at 1:00 (ET) in the afternoon with the event's finals expected to start at approximately 7:15 (ET).