Dec. 16, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Past, present and future Purdue divers will all be competing against the best in the nation at the USA Diving Winter Nationals this week in Austin, Texas.
Eight current Boilermakers -- Alec Back, Michelle Cabassol, Nate Cox, Mary Beth Dunnichay, Casey Matthews, Sean Mokhtari, Layne Rogers and MacKenzie Tweardy -- along with alumnus David Boudia and November 2013 National Letter of Intent signees Anna James and Steele Johnson make up the group of 11 divers with prominent connections to Purdue scheduled to compete.
Along with coaching his group of Boilermakers and serving as an event judge, Purdue head diving coach Adam Soldati will receive the Benjamin Foundation Coaches Performance and the Fred A. Cady Memorial Awards at a USA Diving reception on Friday, Dec. 20. At the same event, Boudia will be named the USA Diving Athlete of the Year for the fourth year in a row and fifth time in his career.
The University of Texas' Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center is serving as the host site of the USA Diving Winter Nationals this year. Cabassol (Montgomery) and Mokhtari (Houston) return to their home states and the aquatic center where they competed from the 1-meter springboard at the Texas high school state championships. The Texas Swim Center will also serve as the host of the men's NCAA Championships in March.
Boudia is set to compete for the first time since repeating as the silver medalist from the 10-meter platform at the FINA World Championships in July. He will be focusing on 3-meter and synchronized 3-meter this week. Soldati said that the duo is working on new additions to Boudia's 10-meter list in preparation for the next Olympic cycle.
"The goal is still to compete on 10-meter in Rio," Boudia recently told USADiving.org. "I just saw after World Championships this summer that there was some need to step up my list. I'm working on a couple new dives on platform, and I didn't want to push it going into competition. I'm doing some bigger and harder dives to hopefully not contend for second place but to contend for the top."
FINA's Diving Grand Prix, Diving World Series and the 19th edition of the Diving World Cup are the premier international events of 2014. The Diving World Cup is set for Shanghai, China, in July. The Diving Grand Prix is held over consecutive weekends in February, with competitions in Spain and Germany. The Diving World Series is a worldwide tour between the Grand Prix and World Cup. Competitions are set for Beijing, Dubai, London and Moscow as well as North American stops in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The USA Diving Winter Nationals will be used to select the divers who will represent the United States in both individual and synchronized diving events at the 2014 FINA Grand Prix meets as well as the individual events for the 2014 FINA World Cup. Soldati said Boudia and Johnson should each be in contention to earn berths. As a part of the Boiler Diving Academy, Johnson has been training under the tutelage of Soldati at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center the last few years. He will be focusing on platform events in Austin. Johnson was victorious from the 10-meter platform at USA Diving's AT&T Senior Nationals in August.
Meanwhile, Matthews prepares for what should be her final USA Diving national meet as the reigning 3-meter NCAA champion. She swept the springboard events at the Ohio State Invitational in November and should have an opportunity to continue to perform well in her events this week.
Back, Dunnichay, Matthews and Mokhtari are among the current Purdue divers that competed at the last USA Diving Winter Nationals, hosted by the University of Tennessee in December 2011. The national meet is not held in Olympic years (like 2012). Boudia was victorious in 10-meter platform and synchronized 10-meter events at the last USA Diving Winter Nationals, increasing his national title count to 16.
Back, Cox, Mokhtari and Rogers also competed along with Johnson at USA Diving's AT&T Senior Nationals this summer in Iowa City.
Ten national titles -- five events for both genders -- will be awarded at the Winter Nationals.
Purdue Divers Competing & Daily Schedule
Updated Finishes & Scores for the Boilers will be posted HERE.
3-Meter; 3-Meter Synchro (with Samuel Dorman)
Anna James (NLI Signee)
10-Meter Platform; Platform Synchro (with Jessica Parratto)
Steele Johnson (NLI Signee)
10-Meter Platform; Platform Synchro (with David Dinsmore)
Tuesday, December 17
11 a.m. -- Men's 1-meter preliminaries (top 8 advance to finals at 6:30 p.m.); Alec Back & Layne Rogers
Followed by -- Women's 1-meter preliminaries (Top 8 advance to finals, to be held after men's final); Michelle Cabassol & Casey Matthews
Wednesday, December 18
11 a.m. -- Men's 3-meter preliminaries (Top 18 advance to semifinals at 6:30 p.m.); David Boudia & Layne Rogers
Followed by -- Women's 10-meter preliminaries (Top 18 advance to semifinals following men's semis; Top 12 from semifinals will advance to finals); Anna James & MacKenzie Tweardy
Thursday, December 19
11 a.m. -- Women's 3-meter preliminaries (Top 18 advance to semifinals at 6:30 p.m.); Michelle Cabassol & Casey Matthews
Followed by -- Men's 10-meter preliminaries (Top 18 advance to semifinals following women's semis; Top 12 from semifinals will advance to finals); Sean Mokhtari
Friday, December 20
11 a.m. -- Women's synchronized 3-meter preliminaries; Michelle Cabassol & Casey Matthews, Mary Beth Dunnichay & MacKenzie Tweardy
Followed by -- Men's synchronized 3-meter preliminaries; Alec Back & Nate Cox, David Boudia
Followed by -- Men's and women's synchronized 10-meter preliminaries (Top 12 teams will advance to finals); Anna James, Steele Johnson
Saturday, December 21
11 a.m. -- Men's synchronized 10-meter final
Followed by -- Women's synchronized 3-meter final
Followed by -- Men's 3-meter final
Followed by -- Women's 10-meter final
Sunday, December 22
11 a.m. -- Women's synchronized 10-meter final
Followed by -- Men's synchronized 3-meter final
Followed by -- Women's 3-meter final
Followed by -- Men's 10-meter final