As the 2017 Zone B Diving Championships came to an end on Wednesday, athletes from UF, FSU, and FIU continued to make their mark.
On the final day of the 2017 Zone B Championships at Auburn, Florida State diver Aidan Faminoff became the final qualifier for the NCAA Championships after placing third on platform with a final score of 711.15.
In addition to the rookie Faminoff, senior Dylan Grisell, junior Tyler Roberge and freshman Molly Carlson also added platform to their NCAA list after their performances on Wednesday.
“Everyone really stepped up today and pushed when they needed to,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “Aidan definitely had a goal going into this meet and he wanted to show what he’s capable of and hang with our other freshman that showed up at this meet.”
From the start Faminoff was on fire, holding in second place for most of prelims, posting a season best score of 384.70.
Faminoff continued his strong showing in finals, scoring over 50 points on four dives, including his best for a total of 70.40 on his inward 3 ½ somersault tuck on his final dive.
Grisell got off to a slow start in prelims after slightly missing on his second and third dives, however he pulled it together for his back 3 ½ tuck, scoring 82.50 before closing on a back 2 ½ somersault twist pike for 67.50. His score of 374.45 was fourth.
Grisell gained momentum after prelims solidifying himself near the top of the leaderboard and stayed there, finishing with a total of 707.30 for fourth place just behind Faminoff.
Roberge used the 5-meter and 7.5 meter platform throughout the day, but was ninth out of prelims with a total of 322.05.
In finals, Roberge was able to match his best score from prelims on his back 2 ½ somersault pike from 7.5 meter, scoring 70.50 in both rounds. He climbed up the ranks, finishing fifth, scoring 685.85.
Faminoff, Roberge and Grisell all join seniors Jason McCormick and Jason Coombs along with junior Chad Mylin and Connor Kalisz as individual NCAA Qualifier that will compete from March 22-25 in Indianapolis, Ind. In addition, the Seminoles will field four relays.
Carlson also rounded out her list, after taking third in the event scoring 524.75. She started the day with a prelim round of 245.75 for eighth place.
The Thunder Bay, Ont. native also picked up steam as finals carried on, climbing up the ranks. She saved her best dive for last, a reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck, scoring 70.00 for third place. Carlson can also dive a full list at NCAA’s.
“This is a tough Zone but our team is really strong,” Proctor said. “Zones its always kind of like getting a wax – it’s stressful and painful, but when it’s all said and done you’ve worked through the hard part and you show up to NCAA’s feeling silky smooth.”
Carlson along with rookie Ayla Bonniwell will be joining juniors Christina Loh, Natalie Pierce and Tayla Lovemore at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. that run from March 15-18. Florida State will also have three relays racing at the meet.
Samuel Smith added a second event to his NCAA schedule on the final day of the NCAA Zone B Championships.
Smith put up a 659.20 in the platform finals to finish eighth, earning an automatic-qualifying spot in the event at the NCAA Championships. Because he had already qualified automatically on 1-meter earlier in the week, Smith only needed a 12th-place finish today to also compete on platform at NCAAs. This marks his first NCAA bid on platform, having dove 1- and 3-meter at last season’s NCAA meet.
Dalton Goss also appeared in the men’s platform finals, finishing 14th with a score of 616.75.
In the prelims, Dylan Power placed 23rd with a score of 238.65. Goss turned in a season-best 309.55 score to finish 14th, and Smith placed eighth with a score of 324.25.
On the towers for the women, Teya Syskakis reached the finals, putting up a 440.20 score to finish at 15th. She had placed 18th in the prelims earlier with a 220.35 score. Brooke Madden followed up at 20th with a 210.60 score, while Brianna Felegi placed 31st with a score of 180.05.
“I am really happy for Sam and Brooke qualifying for the NCAAs,” said diving coach Bryan Gillooly. “This will keep the Gators relevant on the national scene. Sam will be looking to improve on last year’s performance, and as a freshman, Brooke will be gaining some very valuable experience at the next level.
“All of the zone qualifiers did very well and had some of their personal bests this week, which wasn’t really reflected in the scores. Being that the coaches were judging the events, the scoring was extremely tight. The slightest mistake can take you out of qualifying. Overall, our program is heading in the right direction. With some weaknesses exposed this week, I look forward to tightening things up for the NCAAs and beyond.”
For the second-straight year, junior Rebecca Quesnel has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the platform diving program. Quesnel posted a score of 525.05 (10 dives over both the prelims and the finals) to finish second in this year’s Zone B Diving Platform Finals in Auburn, Alabama, and earn a berth in the NCAA Championships in diving.
After sitting in 24th place following the first two rounds of the prelims, the native of Burlington, Ontario, roared back for a fifth-place finish heading into the finals with an overall score of 253.00. In the finals, Quesnel posted a 272.05 for the second-place finish (525.05).
Last season, Quesnel made school history becoming the first Panther diver to qualify for the NCAA Championships (platform).