The Ithaca College women’s diving team will be sending five divers to compete at NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships after competing in the NCAA Diving Regionals.
Graduate student Nickie Griesemer and seniors Lindsey Suddaby, Katie Helly, Anna Belson and Alyssa Wishart qualified for nationals. Griesemer and Suddaby qualified for the one- and three-meter dives while Belson and Wishart qualified only for the one-meter dive and Helly qualified only for the three-meter dive.
Diving coach Chris Griffin said it was the goal of both teams to qualify at least five female divers for nationals.
The competition took place over March 2 and 3 in the Athletics and Events Center Aquatic Pavilion. Both the men’s and women’s diving teams took part at the meet.
On the first day, the women dove the one-meter and the men dove the three-meter. Griesemer won the one-meter dive with a score of 479.20. Suddaby compiled a third-place score of 446.75 while Belson finished in fourth place with a score of 441.15.
Freshman Justin Moczynski was the lone male diver to compete for the Bombers at the meet. Moczynski dove to an eleventh-place finish in the three–meter dive with a score of 432.80.
The second day featured the women diving the three-meter and the men diving the one-meter. Griesemer conquered the field once again with her score of 505.15 in the three-meter dive. Helly’s score of 488.60 earned her the silver in the event.
Despite the fact that she had a poor dive on her third attempt in the three–meter dive, Griesemer said she was able to push forward by thinking about the goal for the team.
“I knew even though I had a rough dive I still needed to get in the top so we could get everyone else in,” Griesemer said. “It wasn’t about me and how I did, it was about my team getting them through. It really helped me to think about it that way.”
Helly said she struggled on the first day of competition, but was able to succeed and qualify on the second day because of the confidence of her teammates.
“My teammates helped me out the most … They just make me calm down, they make me relaxed, they make me have fun,” Helly said. “When we all do the best is when we have fun.”
Suddaby finished just outside the top three with her fourth-place score of 475.25. Although Wishart placed ninth in the event, she still qualified for nationals with her score of 413.45.
As for Moczynski, his fifteenth-place score of 399.85 did not qualify him for nationals.
Griffin said the team needs to continue to work hard and manage their nerves heading into nationals.
“At this point in time, it’s more of the same,” Griffin said. “Come in, continue doing what they’ve been doing, and build confidence and go into nationals relaxed and enjoy the experience.”
The NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships will begin at 10:00 a.m. on March 21 in Indianapolis, Indiana and conclude on March 24.