While the Cal men’s swimming team is piecing together what appears to be a championship defense in the 2014-15 season, the diving team has fallen short of the illustrious program’s expectations. Winning two events through two meets with diving events, the Bears’ divers look to turn things around at the Texas Diving Invitational in Austin, Texas. From Thursday to Saturday, the Bears will compete with eight of the best collegiate diving teams, all vying for accolades in the tournament’s individual events.
In only its fourth year, the Texas Diving Invitational allows the nation’s top divers to compete head to head in the one-meter, three-meter and platform events — all of which are events in the NCAA championships. The invitational features preliminary and championship rounds for each event. In this format, individual divers, not schools, are recognized with points.
In 2013, the Bears failed to win a single event, finishing no higher than seventh on any of the boards over the three-day tournament. Instead, host Texas took home the one- and three-meter board boards, while Hawaii took home a victory in the platform dive. Hoping to have an impact this season, junior Peter Cyr and freshman Finn Scribbick will represent Cal at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
As the only returning member of the dive team, Cyr faced high expectations entering his third year on the Bears’ roster. But he has managed to pick up just one victory in the three-meter dive against Wisconsin, earning a score of 310.88. Newcomer Scribbick has been solid thus far, winning the one-meter dive against Wisconsin and and earning a close second-place finish in the one-meter against the vaunted Hawaii diving team, posting a 313.58 and 288.90, respectively.
The host Longhorns delivered a string of dominant diving performances last season and are heavy favorites entering the tournament. Junior Cory Bowersox is fresh off of earning his second consecutive All-America honors in the one-meter dive. He was third in the event at the last Texas Diving Invitational but looks to be the top diver in the pool this season. Sophomore Mark Anderson earned All-America honors last season in the platform dive and is favored to take the event at the invitational. As the Texas Diving Invitational draws closer, the Bears look increasingly outmatched by the Longhorns’ arsenal of talent.
The tournament becomes even more lopsided considering Texas has not lost a meet in Austin since October 2012. Last year, the Longhorns’ diving team won five of its six individual diving events at home, with its top divers scoring an aggregate total of 2534.76 points in that span.
While Cyr and Scribbick are both talented divers, they may not possess the finesse and skill to keep pace with diving powerhouses such as Texas. Should the Bears’ diving team continue to underperform, it would be fortunate to finish within the top five at the end of the three-day invitational. Cal needs nothing short of perfection from both Cyr and Scribbick if it hopes to leave the pool victorious.
Christian Legg covers men’s swim. Contact him at [email protected].