Grady Lee Thomas
Six divers competed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference diving preliminaries last Saturday at Pomona-Pitzer, with three qualifying for the final meet.
Solid performances were turned in by many of the Leopards, including senior Amanda McCadden, who qualified for the one-meter and three-meter diving events for this weekend’s SCIAC championship meet.
Joining McCadden at the finals this weekend will be freshman Adam Gray, who also qualified for both the one and three-meter diving events, and fellow freshman Jacob Tittl, who qualified for the one-meter diving event.
The event is held annually as a post-season preliminary for the conference championships at the Belmont Olympic Plaza in Long Beach.
Many supporters came out to support the numerous competitors from all eight SCIAC institutions.
“I feel accomplished for coming this far. I hope to do better at finals. I’m not worried as much about positioning as I am about getting better each time I go out to dive. It’s all about getting better,” Tittl said. “I’m glad I came to La Verne, the diving team needed help and the theater department is good.”
This weekend’s SCIAC championship will see a trio of Leopards compete for a chance at greatness.
Tittl finished in sixth place with a score of 366.10, while Gray finished in seventh place with a score of 359.40 in the one-meter dive.
In the men’s three-meter dive, Gray received a score of 323.70, which was good enough for sixth place.
Both men’s participants find themselves in great positioning going into the finals.
On the women’s side, McCadden scored 292.10 (6th place) in the three-meter dive and a 297.65 (8th place) in the one-meter dive.
Swimming and diving are scored together. After this weekend’s SCIAC championship final, the scores will be combined in order to crown the 2011 team and individual champions.
Scores are tentative and subject to change, as the swimming portion has yet to be factored into the overall team and individual scores.
“Swimming and diving has become a part of me. I enjoy being a part of this team. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and I look forward to learning more. Being in the water makes me feel alive,” sophomore Jaimi Law said.
This weekend’s festivities will be action-packed, as things could really shift around a lot during the finals in Long Beach.
The divers’ placing can be changed in a single round so they have to wait and see.
Coach Olivia Palmer has both the men’s and women’s teams geared up and ready to do well this weekend.
“Our coach is very confident in us and we do not want to disappoint her,” sophomore Daniel Sillas said. “She’s very encouraging.”
This is a huge improvement for the Leopards, as there were no divers that qualified for the SCIAC championship final last year.
Grady Lee Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.