AU diver Vennie Dantin headed to USA Diving Nationals

Rising senior diver Vennie Dantin will compete at next week's AT&T USA Diving National Championships in Los Angeles after earning victories in all three events at last month's qualifying meet.

"To win all three events at the senior zone meet gives her a great deal of confidence heading into nationals," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said.

At the USA Diving National Preliminaries in Dallas, Dantin started out with a victory on the 1-meter board. She scored a five-dive total of 270.85 to run away from the rest of the field, finishing 30 points clear of the second-place finisher. She also had the top score in the preliminary round, posting a 244.05.

The following day, she took the top spot in the 3-meter finals, scoring a 286.00 to make it a 2-for-2 week so far. Then, already qualified for nationals on the platform, she left no doubt by winning that event as well with a 292.40 to make it a clean sweep of all three boards.

"She was already qualified on the tower, but I wanted her to get a feel for diving outdoors, which she'll be doing at nationals," Shaffer said.

The national meet begins Tuesday, Aug. 9, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 14 at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center and Dirks Pool. In addition, the meet serves as the Pan American Games Trials, and the top 12 finishers in each Olympic event will earn a spot in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

"I'm looking forward to her having this opportunity to qualify for Olympic Trials," Shaffer said. "As we look forward to her senior season, things are setting up for her to be very successful. She has made great progress, really improving the consistency of her dives."

At last year's USA Diving National Championships in College Station, Texas, Dantin reached the finals of the platform event and took sixth place overall with a score of 304.15. She also finished 18th in the one-meter event and 25th on the three-meter board.

Individual competition begins with the platform quarterfinals and semifinals on Aug. 10. One-meter competition takes place on Aug. 11, with three-meter quarterfinals and semifinals on Aug. 12. The women's platform final is set for Saturday, Aug. 13, and the three-meter final is on Aug. 14. NBC Sports and Universal Sports will have live television coverage of the three-meter and platform finals.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn University Athletics