On today’s edition of DiveDove, we bring the action from the Georgia Diving Invitational. This isn’t your usual dive meet. This invite had the top six divers in the springboard events compete in a “knock out” format that eliminates the lowest scoring dive each round until the winner remains.
Already planning out strategies on the first day was junior diver Devin Burnett from SMU. By mixing his worst and best dives throughout the rounds, he was the last one standing in the 3M, winning the event in a score of 381.9. He added another win during the weekend by scoring 371.5 in the 1M. When no strategy was involved and the one and three meter were run the traditional way, Burnett remained victorious in the 3M, but it was Mizzou’s Clark Thomas who was able to claim the top spot with a score of 386.75
The platform was run in a regular format with the men from Auburn running away with the show. Fraser Mckean and John Santeiu were first and second respectively with scores of 387.7 and 366.25. These performances bode well for the rest of season where these divers will help out big time at conference, where every point matters.
The Lady Bulldogs dominated the entire meet, with divers finishing in the top three in each event. The 3M springboard had UGA written all over it, where Laura Ryan and Ann-Perry Blank had a 1-2 finish. Both divers grabbed a second place finish as well; Ryan in the 1M and Blank on the platform. The other winners of the weekend came from Alabama’s Paige McCleary in the 1M and LSU’s Cassie Weil on the platform.
While diving isn’t always in the swim and dive spotlight, it can certainly play a huge influence going into conference and NCAA championship season. With most of the victors at this meet hailing from the SEC conference (a powerhouse for swimming), the fate of teams like Auburn and Georgia could be decided by diving points. The Lady Bulldogs, who are trying to repeat as National Champions over heavily favored Cal, would love to see Ryan and Blank get better and better throughout the season in hopes of having the diving edge over the Golden Bears. They combined for 18 points last year at NCAA’s, and this year have looked
While the majority of the points will come from the action in the lanes, the points from the boards may end up being the deciding factor in meets to come the second half of the season.