Sophomore finishes 24th off 3-meter springboard
Her trip marks second straight year UNM is represented on the big stage
Sophomore places third off 3-meter springboard
Abel Sanchez and his squad face tough field en route to NCAA Championships
New Mexico has opportunity to rise up the rankings
Abel Sanchez, a 2000 Summer Olympics participant and three-time All-American at the University of Michigan, was named diving coach on Oct. 28, 2004. Sanchez, who made an immediate impact on the team in his first year, enters his sixth season at the helm.
Last year Sanchez coached a diving squad that included two Mountain West All-Conference performers on the 1-meter. All four divers qualified for the 2009 NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships in Austin, Texas. Alexandra Lusk captured a ninth-place finish on the platform dive and was one of three divers from the Mountain West Conference to place in the top-10.
In the 2005-06 season, Sanchez led Carrie Quinn to two top-10 MWC performances. In the 2006-07 season, Quinn competed in the finals on all three boards, and fell just shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
Sanchez directed Carrie Quinn to the post season in 2007-08. Quinn, a two-time MWC Diver of the Week last season, was the Lobos' lone representative in the NCAA post-season. She competed in the NCAA Zone E Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla.
In his first year, Sanchez guided senior Becca Barras to the 2005 NCAA Championships where she became UNM's first female diving All-American.
A standout diver at Michigan, Sanchez was a three-time All-American and an Academic All-American. He placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships twice, finishing as high as fourth. Sanchez was also a three-time All-Big Ten Conference honoree. He won two silver medals at the conference championships in his career and helped Michigan to four consecutive Big 10 titles and a national championship.
After his collegiate career ended, Sanchez continued to dive, training with Olympic coach Kenny Armstrong, Jay Lerew and Olympian and world champion Janet Ely-Lagourgue.
Sanchez went on to represent Peru, his father's home country, on 3-meter and platform at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney. Sanchez qualified for the Olympics after claiming silver medals on 1-meter, 3-meter and platform at the South American Championships. He is an eight-time finalist at the U.S. Diving National, and a five-time finalist in the FINA Grand Prix circuit. Sanchez joined the Lobos after coaching the Mission Viejo (Calif.) Nadadores Diving Team. He was also the meet director for the 2004 Speedo Cup National Diving Championships.
Sanchez, a Holland, Michigan, native, is married to Leanne and the couple has two daughters, Bryze and Maizie.