by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River native Laura Ryan will cap off her outstanding college diving career this week in Minneapolis as her team, defending national champion Georgia, competes in the NCAA swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota.
In the Zone B qualifiers in North Carolina last week, Ryan won the three-meter competition, placed second in platform and fourth in one-meter.
The national diving competitions will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with preliminaries at 1:30 p.m. and finals at 7 p.m. each day.
“I am so excited to be finishing my college career at the place it all started,” said Ryan, who has not competed at the U of M since winning state gold her sophomore year with the Elks.
“My family and friends are coming to see me. About 30 people said they’d be there. And, my Georgia team is going to try to win the whole thing again.”
Last year, Ryan placed fifth in platform and 12th in three-meter to help the Bulldogs capture the national title in Indianapolis.
Ryan was state champion for the Elks in 2008. She was injured her junior year, and left the team her senior year to start competing nationally.
She originally went to Indiana two years, winning the Big Ten one-meter title her freshman year. She missed the Big 10 her sophomore year to compete at the world meet in synchronizing diving. She’s a four-time national champ in synchro with an Indiana teammate.