Swimming and Diving: Diving delight

Jan. 20, 2010, 1:19 a.m.

Divers find success in L.A.

At last weekend’s Bruin Diving Invitational in Westwood, Calif., the Stanford diving team brought home the hardware with four second-place finishes and two first-place finishes. The event pitted the Card against divers from San Diego, UCSD, UCLA, Southern California and Connecticut.

As expected, the Cardinal upperclassmen were dominant. On the men’s side, senior Dwight Dumais began his quest for an individual NCAA championship with a strong second-place finish in the 1-meter springboard. However, Dumais disappointed in the 3-meter springboard — he finished in eighth place in the preliminaries and failed to qualify for the finals.

Junior Brent Eichenseer was met with more success. He achieved third in the 1-meter behind Dumais and USC’s Harrison Jones, and won second on platform diving behind Jones. Eichenseer ended the meet on Sunday with a forceful performance in the 3-meter finals, winning the competition by 64.70 points over UConn’s Adam Genuario.

The women’s team also had a very strong meet. Senior Carmen Stellar placed second in all three events, and junior Meg Hostage garnered a first-place finish in the 1-meter and third place in the 3-meter.

Sophomore Mary Beth Corbett, who recorded seventh-place finishes in the 1-meter and 3-meter, commented on the overall success of the meet.

“I did better than I expected,” she said. “The competition was good, because USC has two people who’ve been to the Olympics, so getting as close as [Stellar and Hostage] did to them was a great win.”

Stellar actually placed higher than one of those Olympians, Ariel Rittenhouse, on the platform.

“We know there’s a lot of progress to be made before Pac-10s, and we know that we can do that,” Corbett added.

Even more impressive is the fact that Stanford placed so well despite not going into the meet with a highly competitive mindset.

“This was one of our earlier meets, so it didn’t mean a lot in terms of places or points,” Corbett said. “This was the meet where our coach was looking to see where we are in the season [and] how we’re progressing. It was a really good indicator for our team of how we’re doing.”

The Cardinal freshmen also performed well, giving head coach Dr. Rick Schavone an early indication of their level relative to the competition. For the women, freshman Jennifer Wylie dove well on the 1-meter and 3-meter, but did not reach any finals, placing 17th and 21st respectively on the two boards. Freshman Tommy Fraychineaud did somewhat better — he made the finals in both springboards, placing ninth in the 1-meter and third in the 3-meter.

While the long-term focus is on the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments, the divers are preparing for next weekend’s meets against Arizona and Arizona State. Both swimmers and divers will compete in these dual meets, which involve both the men’s and women’s teams.

“Everyone has one or two things they know they need to work on,” Corbett said. “We really want to work on technique, so the meets will end up being natural and we won’t have to work as hard for it.”

Kabir Sawhney is currently a desk editor for the News section. He served as the Managing Editor of Sports last volume.

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