Dec. 9, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Freshman Steven LoBue was today selected by the Big Ten Conference as its Diver of the Week. LoBue earned the prestigious honor after capturing a win off the 3-meter board and a runner-up finish off the 1-meter against 15th-ranked Texas A&M last Friday at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
"He's a very talented diver," said Purdue diving coach Wenbo Chen. "He's been training real hard since he's been here and is always doing the best he can. Steve brings a lot of energy to this team, he does not get tired and he's always the first one in the pool to practice the harder dives. I've noticed that he's been helping the juniors and seniors, pushing them along, and as a result they are all doing better."
"Coach Chen has already given me so much," said LoBue. "His coaching style has drastically cleaned up my diving. My teammates and I are all very supportive of each other, in that we always push each other to our limits and beyond."
LoBue has won four of five 3-meter competitions this season, and his score of 354.90 against the Aggies was not only a career best, but a Purdue varsity record as well. The old record of 340.45 was established in 1977 by Mark Virts. His three-meter score was also 14 points better than runner-up Christian Picard's, who finished with a mark of 340.35.
Off the 1-meter, LoBue was topped by teammate Davis, but still posted a respectable score of 301.95. Davis' score of 319.73 set a new Boilermaker Aquatic Center record. Overall, LoBue collected 12 of the team's 28 diving points, keeping the Boilermakers in contention with the Aggies throughout the entire meet.
In less than two months, LoBue has qualified for NCAA Regional Diving Zones in all three competitions and recorded two new school records. During the Purdue Invitational in November, LoBue posted a score of 469.45 off the platform diving board, breaking teammate Josh Karshen's year old record of 344.60.
LoBue and company have no competitions scheduled until Jan. 3, when the diving corps heads to Athens, Ga., for the start of the three-day Georgia Invitational. The men' team's next dual meet is on Jan. 9 in Tucson, Ariz., where it will face Missouri and No. 8 Arizona. On Jan. 10, the Old Gold and Black head to Tempe for a triangular featuring No. 11 Virginia and Arizona State.
"For the second half of the season I just want to finish up strong," said LoBue. "I'm not too
worried about how I place at Big Tens because im only a freshman and I still have a few years to train."