This past weekend I competed in the Master’s Diving Nationals in Riverside, CA. I had been training 3 days a week for the past 6 weeks in order to get ready for this event. It had been quite some time since my last real diving competition, the last one I remember is the summer of 2005. I felt confident and ready knowing my training would pay off.
The first day of competition was the 1 meter springboard. I was competing in the 30-34 age group with 4 other divers. I had a very strong meet, only slightly missing my 203B (back 1 1/2 somersault pike) by leaving it pretty short. During the meet, they have everything done on computers with a screen that tells you what place you are in and what score you have. For most of the meet I was sitting in 3rd place until the last 2 rounds. I noticed after the 8th round dive (out of 10) I had moved into 2nd by 3 points and after the 9th round dive I was only ahead by 2 points. It all came down to the last dive. I had a 5132D, full twisting 1 1/2 left and my competitor had a slightly harder dive with a higher degree of difficulty. I went up and nailed my dive for 7.5’s and he was not quite as successful and hit his for 5.5’s. I had taken second place by only 5 points. It was a great battle and I fully enjoyed every bit of it.
The second day was the 3 meter springboard. Again I dove really solid, only slightly missing one dive, the dreaded reverse dive pike. Reverse’s are a love/hate relationship. You love them when they are going well and hate em when they are not. My best dive of the day came when I hit my inward 2 1/2 tuck (my hardest dive) for 8’s and a big dive total score of 62 points!! Whoohoo!! It was really neat when I did that dive because right before I went a bunch of my friends showed up to watch me. I was joking around with them afterwards and told them they should have came sooner because that was my first 8’s of the day. I came in second again on 3 meter and was very pleased with my performance.
The final day of competition was Sunday and it was platform. Now, I do not dive or train platform because I do not have the facilities near me to practice on. The last time I competed in a platform contest was when I was in college back in 1999. Man I don’t like saying that, it makes me feel old. Anyway, with it being so long since my last platform meet there were a few dives I had to relearn in warm up. Like dives that you have done but it has been awhile and you need a refresher course. An interesting thing about platform diving is yes it is quite a bit higher, but it is straight forward, you just get up and go. With springboard diving, you have to have a good hurdle and ride the board and wait for the board to throw you in the air. Not with platform. Platform diving you basically just get up and hurl your body off. No riding the board, just go. I got through my 6 dives in warm up rather successfully and was good to go. I dove well but with a lower degree of difficulty than the others, I placed 3rd.
My highlight of the platform contest was getting my first 10 ever. I did a flying gainer somersault off of the 10 meter and got one. The highest and lowest scores always get thrown out, but whatever, I will take it.
My masters diving weekend was quite successful with 2 silvers and 1 bronze. Although I did not fulfill one of my lifetime goals of becoming a master’s diving champion, I will not give up and let this deter me from accomplishing my goal. I will continuing to compete until I succeed. I made a lot of new friends and met a lot of interesting people. It is always nice to be part of a group in which you all share something in common, the sport of diving. Some rather impressive divers there were the ones competing in the 80-85 age group. I plan on being one of those guys many, many years from now.
Here are some great photos of the weekend: