UCLA Signs 3 Junior National Qualifying Divers for Class of 2021

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The UCLA Bruins have announced the signing of 3 divers as part of their incoming class of 2021.

While the swimming program has a lot of momentum under new head coach Jordan Wolfrum, it’s Tom Stebbins’ diving program that has been a rock for UCLA. Divers have won the school’s last conference championships (and all of the program’s conference championships back to 2007), and divers accounted for all 75 of UCLA’s points at the last Division I NCAA Championship meet in 2019.

All 3 of the announced diving signees are NCAA-scoring potential divers and have qualified for the USA Diving Junior National Championships.

Christina Duan of the Pacific Diving Academy in Southern California is a springboard specialist who finished 8th on 1-meter in the 14-15 age group at the 2019 USA Diving Junior National Championships. A relatively-young high school senior, she’s still only 16 years old.

2020 Diving Video:

Zoe Jespersgaard finished 28th at the 2019 USA Diving Junior National Championships in the 16-18 1-meter age group. The Venice High School senior finished 22nd at the 2018 CIF State Championship meet on the 1-meter as just a freshman, though she didn’t dive at the state meet as a sophomore.

A trainee of the Los Angeles Diving Club, Jespersgaard dives all three disciplines (1 meter, 3 meter, platform). She’s a Dutch Junior National Champion on both 1 meter and 3 meter.

Maya Salvitti, another local Los Angeles product, also trains at the Los Angeles Diving Club (with Jespersgaard). Like Jespersgaard, she dove at the 2018 CIF State Championship meet as a freshman, for Palisades High school, placing 18th on 1-meter.

At the 2019 Junior Nationals, on the younger end of the age group, Salvitti dove 3-meter and platform and qualified for the semifinals in the later, with an overall 30th-place finish.

All 3 divers are scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2021. UCLA has only 2 seniors on their entire roster, none of which are divers. In fact, the 3 divers on the UCLA roster this season are all either sophomores or freshmen. The additional 3 divers last season will help rebuild the Bruins’ diving roster.

2020 All-American Ruby Neave (an Australian) and zone qualifier Alice Yanovsky were both scheduled to be seniors this season, which would put UCLA more in line with the 5-7 divers they usually carry.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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