Divers fall short in bid for finals qualification

by Crystal Apilado
Staff Writer

University of La Verne dive team members competed for spots at the the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Diving preliminaries, which ULV hosted on Saturday.

“We’re the largest Division III conference west of the Mississippi,” John Hallman, head swim coach, said. Participating schools in the preliminaries included Redlands, Pomona-Pitzer, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Occidental, Caltech, Whittier and the Leopards.

Sophomore Debbee Lewis and freshman Jaime Sanchez represented ULV. Lewis placed 11th in the women’s one-meter and 10th in the women’s three-meter. Lewis was recovering from a back injury during the preliminaries. “Her injuries kept her from performing as well as she thought she would,” Hallman said

Sanchez, who has only been diving for the past four months, placed 9th in the men’s three-meter and 7th in the the one-meter. “I was surprised,” he said of his standings.

“Jaime had a great dive meet,” said Hallman of Sanchez’s performance. Sanchez fell shy of the finals cutoff by eight tenths of a point in the men’s one-meter.

The diving team has been without a coach for the past couple of months, following the resignation of Justin Borba. The week before the preliminaries, dive team members attended the Rose Bowl Aquatic Clinic.

“We are still going through growing pains,” said Hallman of the two-year-old diving team.

ULV may have fell short of qualifying for finals, but did place in the conference standings. The top 16 women and the top 12 men become competitors.

Lewis and Sanchez performed well enough to qualify for the conference standings.

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