The YMCA of Greenwich Marlins Diving Club placed an impressive fourth at the 2013 YMCA National Championships at the International Swimming Hall of Fame pool in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last weekend. The Marlins posted the fourth-place showing with only seven divers competing.
“YMCA Nationals is always a great, fun experience,” Marlins coach Dylan Korn said. “The kids don’t often get a chance to dive outdoors, so it can be a challenge diving with the sun shining or the wind blowing, but they all did an outstanding job and we’re proud of them.”
Representing the YMCA of Greenwich Marlins at the YMCA Nationals were: Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Lee Christensen, Elizabeth Uhl, Madeline Kenney, Shannon Daine, James Hopper and Carolina Sculti.
The seven Marlins divers garnered 19 medals over the course of the weekend. The Marlins men’s team, which included only two divers, finished fourth with Greenwich resident James Hopper earning the High Point Award (a combination of team points earned by a single individual on all three events). Lee Christensen of Darien posted an eighth place finish in the men’s all-around. Christensen was among the top finishers of his 16-21 year old age group throughout the competition. He finished second in the platform event and took fourth in both the one and three-meter springboard.
Hopper swept all three of his events in the 12-13 age group, earning three gold medals and securing himself a prequalification to USA Diving Summer Junior Nationals in August where he will battle for a spot on Team USA for the Junior Pan-American Games in September.
The Marlins women’s team enjoyed the same success, finishing fourth overall. Carolina Sculti of Rye, N.Y., shared a three-way tie for the High Point Award. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of Darien tied for fourth, while Elizabeth Uhl of Greenwich, tied for seventh. Shannon Daine of Greenwich placed 19th and Madeline Kenney of Rye was 28th. Sculti came away with first-place finishes on the one and three-meter springboard and a silver medal on the platform in her 12-13 year-old events. Fitzpatrick finished first in the one-meter springboard in the 16-21 year-old division, was second on the three-meter, and third place on platform. Sculti and Fitzpatrick will join Hopper at the Junior Nationals in August, in the hope of earning a spot on the Junior Pan-Am team.
Ellie Uhl turned in an outstanding performance as well, finishing second in her 14-15 year-old platform event, third on the one-meter springboard and sixth on the three-meter springboard. Daine celebrated her birthday by finishing seventh in her 14-15 year-old platform event. She also placed eighth on one-meter springboard and ninth on the three- meter springboard. Kenney placed in both of her springboard events, earning a seventh-place finish on the one-meter and eighth on the three-meter.
“These amazing performances from our Marlins divers show how well our team is doing, but we just lack the depth that other teams have,” coach Lindsay Weigle said. “Once we can build our numbers, I’m confident that we’ll not only be on top at YMCA Nationals, but we will place higher at USA Diving Junior Nationals as well. We have great kids, and some potential future olympians. But we always encourage less experienced divers to try out our club because there’s a place for everyone here.”