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Krebs, UNC Divers Ready for Tourneys

The junior celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday by winning the 1-meter diving event against N.C. State and eating cake and ice cream with his teammates afterward.

But everything wasn't merry for the North Carolina's diving squad on Krebs' birthday. N.C. State took first in the men's 3-meter and the women's 1- and 3-meter events.

North Carolina diving coach Nunzio Esposto said his divers were trying out some different techniques during the meet, and that might have hurt their scores.

"Stephen had one dive that he messed up at the very end, and that cost him first place," said Esposto of the 3-meter competition. "But I don't foresee that being any kind of problem."

Problems have been few and far between for the UNC diving corps this season. Krebs has finished first or second in 15 of his last 18 events. Junior Eric Poitras has done the same in 10 of his last 18.

"(Krebs) has been pretty consistent throughout the year, as he has his first two years here," Esposto said. "He's doing well, and I think he's going to do well in the conference tournament."

The success of the UNC diving team has also extended to the women's side.

Junior Ashley Benner has finished first or second in eight events this season, and sophomore Lindsay Waddell has equaled that accomplishment in seven events.

"I think we're in a pretty good spot right now," Benner said. "Our team is strong and we have pretty good depth."

UNC coach Frank Comfort said he is incredibly pleased with the state of the diving corps at the close of the regular season.

"I think (the divers) are going to be a remarkably critical factor in the upcoming ACC championships," Comfort said.

Of the 20 events in the conference championship, two will be diving events. And Comfort said those two events will play a large role in the outcome.

"That's 10 percent of the total events, and you can't hand away 10 percent," he said.

Krebs said the divers are focused on the ACC and NCAA tournaments. He added the diving squad will be a vital part of UNC wins, and that the swimmers realize it.

"They know we can score a lot of points and make up ground," Krebs said. "Everybody just wants the team to win."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports

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