May 3, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue divers David Boudia, David Colturi and Casey Matthews don the Red, White and Blue of Team USA this week at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It’s always a great honor to represent the United States of America,” head diving coach Adam Soldati said. “All three of these athletes are using this to continue making steps toward the ultimate goal of making an Olympic team. It’s a great testament to Purdue University, the athletic department and this program to have three athletes from Purdue diving at this event. There is one international event each year hosted on American soil, and this is it.”
All three divers are set to compete in the individual platform event, and Boudia also is slated for synchronized platform duty after winning the World Cup Synchronized Trials last month partnered with Duke freshman Nick McCrory. The Boilermakers’ contingent is part of 10 collegiate divers selected for the competition, and Purdue’s three are the most from any school.
Boudia is no stranger to international competition. The sophomore from Noblesville, Ind., medaled in his 17th international event last month by claiming silver in the platform during the final leg of the FINA World Series in Veracruz, Mexico. In March, Boudia won the third and fourth NCAA titles of his career when he took top honors from both springboards. His 1-meter win made him the first diver in NCAA history to win at least one championship from all three boards in a career, and his second straight 3-meter crown propelled him to the second leg of back-to-back national Diver of the Year honors. Boudia holds the American record for most points in a six-dive platform list and for most points in a single platform dive. He earned the scores of 551.20 and 109.15, respectively, in February at the USA Diving Winter National Championships while winning the 10th national title of his career.
“For Boudia, this is clearly a stepping stone for the World Cup (June 2-6 in Changzhou, China),” Soldati said. “We are focused on the World Cup and China, and this is a step along the way.”
Colturi is making his second international appearance after earning a bronze medal in synchronized platform at last summer’s FISU World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. The junior from Sylvania, Ohio, became Purdue’s most-decorated All-American this past March by earning the honor from all three boards at the NCAA Championships and increasing his career total to seven. Colturi won the first Big Ten title of his career this past February when he topped the 1-meter field with a career-best total of 442.00 points. Colturi, who also won the lowest springboard at this year’s NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, ranks second on Purdue’s all-time performance list for all three boards. He was named Big Ten Diver of the Week on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 to become just the second diver in program history to win back-to-back conference weekly accolades.
“This meet is a great opportunity for David to build his experience,” Soldati said. “This is another step for him internationally that will only help propel him toward his goals.”
Matthews exploded onto the national scene this year and was selected for her first international team in February. The Getzville, N.Y., native finished fourth in the platform at the USA Diving Winter National Championships to earn her berth in the Grand Prix. That followed a second-place performance in the platform at the AT&T National Diving Championships, her first national meet, last August. During the collegiate season, Matthews, who is second on Purdue’s all-time performance list in the 3-meter and platform and fourth on the 1-meter list, earned All-America accolades in the 3-meter and an honorable mention nod in the 1-meter. Matthews has accumulated three All-America honors in her first two seasons of collegiate competition.
“This is an unbelievable testament to Casey’s hard work,” Soldati said. “She’s been diving tower for two years, and in two years to be on the international stage representing the United States is a tremendous accomplishment.”
The AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix is the only U.S. stop on the FINA Grand Prix circuit, and divers from approximately 20 countries are expected to compete. Action begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, with Matthews kicking off Purdue’s delegation Thursday in the platform preliminary and semifinal rounds. The men’s platform preliminary and semifinal rounds are Thursday, and the synchronized platform competition takes place Sunday.