The Purdue Boilermakers have one of the country’s top diving programs, and though in the 2012-2013 season, they weren’t quite as deep as their in-state rivals Indiana, they still managed an NCAA Championship from Casey Matthews on the women’s 3-meter.
They have used that title to remind recruits that even with Olympic coach Drew Johansen taking over in Hoosierland, coach Adam Soldati is still one of the best coaches of his generation, especially for platform divers.
With that, the Boilermakers have picked up another great diver for their class of 2014: Anna James from Midland, Texas.
James is a 2011 World Championship qualifier, and from that she already has a Purdue connection: her 10 meter platform partner at those World Championships, Mary Beth Dunnichay, is a Purdue alum. Together, they placed just 11th out of 14 teams, but considering that this was when she was going into her sophomore year of high school and was just 15, that’s still invaluable experience.
She dives at City of Midland Aquatics under John Proctor (a team best known for producing swimmers like Florida’s Natalie Hinds)
James has had a world of experience; in addition to worlds, she dove with Jessica Parratto at the FINA Grand Prix stop in Rostock, Germany.
She was 7th at the 2012 AT&T National Champions on the platform, and at that year’s Junior Nationals showed that she could dive springboard too by taking 2nd on the 3-meter at Junior Nationals. She was also 8th individually at the Olympic Trials on the platform and again with Parratto won the synchro platform.
James has had some problems with injuries throughout her young career, but her talent and potential is undeniable. Matthews had a lot of injuries in her career as well before winding up as an NCAA Champion.
The Boilermakers next fall will also get Steele Johnson for their men’s team: he committed last December, and is the 2013 USA Diving National Champion on the platform.