Swimming & Diving
MingLi (Danny) Zhang - Swimming & Diving - University of Kentucky Athletics

MingLi (Danny)Zhang

  • position Diver
  • class Senior
  • Hometown Cypress, Calif.
  • Major Psychology
  • High school Cypress

Top Scores:
1-meter: 384.98 (vs. Cincinnati, 1/28/22)
3-meter: 441.45 (vs. Cincinnati, 1/31/20)
Platform: 422.10 (2020 SEC Championships, 2/21/20)
Career Notes:

  • 2021 All-America Honorable Mention on 10-Meter Platform
  • 2021 All-SEC Second Team
  • 2021 SEC Silver Medalist on 10-Meter Platform
  • 2021 SEC Bronze Medalist on 3-Meter Springboard
  • ^2020 All-America on 1- and 3-Meter Springboard, Platform
  • 2020 All-SEC First Team
  • 2020 SEC Champion on Platform
  • 2020 SEC Silver Medalist on 3-Meter Springboard
  • 2020, 2021, 2022 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2019, 2021 NCAA qualifier
  • 2019 All-America Honorable Mention on 3-Meter Springboard
  • 2019 SEC Bronze Medalist on 3-Meter Springboard
  • 2019 All-SEC Second Team
  • 2019 SEC All-Freshman Team

In the Record Book:

  • No. 2 on 3-meter (2020)
  • No. 3 on 1-meter (2022)
  • No. 4 on 10-meter (2020)

2021-22 (Senior): Finished fourth on both 1-meter (355.20) and platform (394.60) at the SEC Championships, also taking ninth on 3-meter (352.25) … Had a pair of top-14 finishes at the Zone C Diving Championships … Was the runner-up on both 3-meter (417.80) and platform (396.70) at the midseason Ohio State Invitational … Had 11 top-5 finishes during the dual meet season, including seven event wins … Swept the 1-meter (369.23) and 3-meter (424.43) in a battle with Tennessee … Was victorious on 1-meter (363.38) and 3-meter (387.30) at Louisville … Placed first on 1-meter (384.98) and 3-meter (419.18) versus Cincinnati … Won the 3-meter (383.45) in the season opener at Indiana … Took second on 1-meter (353.35) and 3-meter (401.15) in a tri-meet with Auburn and NC State … Named the SEC Male Diver of the Week on Feb. 1 for the third time in his career.

2020-21 (Junior): Named to the All-SEC Second Team … Earned silver on the 10-meter platform (403.20), bronze on the 3-meter springboard (415.05), and took fourth on the 1-meter springboard (358.40) at the 2021 SEC Championships … Finished 16th on the 10-meter platform with a score of 329.50 at the NCAA Championships where he also competed on the 1-meter and 3-meter … Punched his ticket to NCAAs after taking third on the 3-meter (775.25) and 10-meter platform  (724.70) as well as ninth on the 1-meter (627.45) at the Zone C Championships … Won the 1-meter (343.05) and 3-meter (403.75) at the Missouri Invitational, also taking second on the 10-meter (402.85) … Won five events throughout the dual meet season, highlighted by a pair of wins in the 3-meter (427.28) and 10-meter (417.08) at Alabama … Also picked up victories on the 3-meter against Louisville and Tennessee … Named SEC Diver of the Week on November 3 … Named to SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.

2019-20 (Sophomore): Named to All-SEC First Team … Scored more individual points at the 2020 SEC Championship than any swimmer of diver on the men’s team, collecting 86 individual points and finishing in the top four on all three disciplines … There, he earned a gold medal on platform with a personal-best 422.10, he earned a silver medal on the 3-meter springboard with a 422.10, while he finished in fourth place on the 1-meter springboard with a 358.45, after earning a personal-best 373.00 during preliminaries … Before the 2020 SEC Championships, Zhang earned a personal-best 441.45 on the 3-meter springboard in a dual meet vs. Cincinnati to earn first place in January … Lost an opportunity to compete for a bid to the 2020 NCAA Championships because the 2020 NCAA Zone C Diving Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 public health threat … Earned the Mike Lyden MVP Award and the Wildcat of the Year Award at the program’s annual awards banquet … Named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.

2018-19 (Freshman): Named to All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team … Joined the program at the start of 2019, helping the UK men defeat Louisville for the first time in 12 seasons, having earned his only gold finish of the season on 3-meter vs. Louisville (409.20) … Earned points at the SEC Championships, earning a bronze medal on 3-meter on a season-best 439.50 points … There, Zhang also earned 10th on 1-meter (315.95) … Qualified for the NCAA Championships on 3-meter … There, he became a NCAA Honorable Mention All-America earning 11th on 3-meter (361.70) … Received the Freshman Award at the end of year banquet.
Prior to UK: Having trained in China for much of his young life, Zhang moved to the United States to pursue diving and an education. An impressive young talent, Zhang swept the springboard events at the 2018 “Gift of Life” Invitational, the 2017 PDGA USA Winter Invitational and the 2016 Crown Valley Divers Fall Invitational.

^The CSCAA board adjusted the All-America selection criteria to recognize a group of individuals who would have had the opportunity to compete for All-America status at the canceled 2020 NCAA Championships.

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