COLUMBUS, Ohio – USA Diving announced the recipients of its annual awards at a ceremony Friday in conjunction with the 2016 USA Diving Winter National Championships being held on the campus of Ohio State University.
David Boudia was honored with USA Diving’s Athlete of the Year award for the seventh consecutive year and eighth time in his illustrious career. Boudia left Brazil this past August with a silver and bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, taking second in the men’s 10-meter synchronized platform with partner Steele Johnson and third in the men’s 10-meter platform. Boudia and Johnson finished with a score of 457.11, topping Great Britain’s Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow for silver. The three-time Olympian’s score of 525.25 secured the second individual medal of his Olympic career, finishing with a bronze in the men’s 10-meter platform. Boudia’s Olympic medal count is now at four (one gold, one silver, two bronze), tying him with Pat McCormick, Dorothy Poynton-Hill, Georgia Coleman, Mickey Galitzen, Bud Pinkston and Paula Jean Meyers-Pope for second-most by an American diver. Greg Louganis is the only American diver with five Olympic medals (four gold, one silver). Boudia won the senior men’s platform and synchronized platform at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, his third straight individual title at Trials and second straight in synchronized platform.
Drew Johansen received the Mike Peppe Award, given to the outstanding senior diving coach. Johansen was named the head coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Team, having also been selected as the head coach of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Diving Team. He coached three of the 10 divers that made the Olympic squad with Michael Hixon, Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto all training with him at Indiana University in Bloomington. Hixon crafted a silver-medal performance in the men’s synchronized 3-meter with teammate Sam Dorman, and finished 10th overall in the men’s 3-meter. Cozad came in seventh in the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform with Parratto, who took 10th in the individual women’s 10-meter platform. The United States has amassed seven medals at the Olympic Games under Johansen’s direction.
Jeff Bro has been selected as the recipient of the Moose Moss Age Group Coach of the Year Award for the third consecutive year. His GC Diving team won the overall team title at the 2016 AT&T Nationals and was third at the 2016 USA Diving Synchronized National Championships. Bro sent two divers to the 21st FINA World Junior Diving Championships earlier this month, with GC Diving athletes making up a fifth of the female divers selected to compete for the United States. Bridget O’Neil placed 10th in the Girls Group B 1-meter and 14th in the Girls Group B 3-meter. Teammate Maysi Richards took 12th in the Girls Group B platform.
Olympian and former world champion Janet Ely was presented with the Phil Boggs Award, which honors those who have achieved individual excellence in diving and have given back a part of themselves to assure the sport’s continuation and success. Ely competed in both the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, taking fourth in both the 3-meter and platform in Munich. She finished tied for ninth in platform in Montreal. The two-time Olympian attained the title of “world champion” in 1975 in the women’s platform. A former recipient of the Moose Moss Age Group Coach of the Year Award, Ely arrived at Mission Viejo in 1985 serving as the assistant coach with head coach, and fellow Olympian, Dave Burgering. She eventually took over as head coach in 1989 and also took on high performance director responsibilities during her time with the Nadadores. Her judging history stretches back to 2006, with notable events such as the 2009, 2010 and 2013 Junior National Diving Championships on her judging resume.
Chris Seufert Sholtis received the Glenn McCormick Memorial Award, presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the sport of diving. A two-time Olympian and 1984 Olympic bronze medalist, Sholtis currently serves on the USA Diving Board of Directors as immediate past chairman of the board. She is also a member of the Board of Review Committee at USA Diving, reviewing complaints regarding disciplinary and administrative matters. Also a FINA certified judge, Sholtis was the U.S. judge at the London 2012 Olympic Games and also judged the FINA World Championships in 2011 and 2013.
Fort Lauderdale Dive Team received the Dick Wilson Memorial Award, which annually honors the most improved junior and age group diving team. Fort Lauderdale Dive Team finished sixth as a team at the 2016 AT&T National Championships, a year after finishing 18th overall. Both the men’s and women’s teams improved from the previous year at the meet as the women finished in eighth place after coming in ninth last season. The men manufactured a tenth-place finish after taking 48th just a year ago. The club also had success at the 2016 USA Diving Synchronized National Championships, cracking the top 10 with an eighth-place finish. The women improved 11 spots from the previous year by taking fifth, while the men came in 12th after not having any divers at the 2015 USA Diving Synchronized National Championships. Fort Lauderdale Dive Team had four divers make finals in 11 events at the 2016 AT&T National Championships with standout performances from Johanna Holloway (1st, 16-18 Girls 3-meter; 5th, senior Women platform; 8th, 16-18 Girls platform; 11th, senior Women 3-meter), Denny Gulia Janovski (1st, 12-13 Boys platform; 5th, 12-13 Boys 1-meter; 7th, 12-13 Boys 3-meter), Zachary Allen (3rd, 16-18 Boys 1-meter; 7th, 16-18 Boys 3-meter) and Aliyah Watson (4th, 14-15 Girls platform; 6th 14-15 Girls 3-meter).
The 2016 USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through December 21 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the Ohio State University campus. For event and ticket information, please go here.
Courtesy: USA Diving