With a plunge from the diving board and a sideways spiral midair, the Cal women’s diving team is participating in the Texas Diving Invitational, which runs Thursday to Saturday. The meet will be featured at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, and as one of the first big diving meets of the season, it will ignite a harsh competitive spirit from all 10 participating teams’ swimmers, who will garner individual strength in order to contort their bodies in hope to maximize the number of points tallied.
Similar to last fall’s Texas meet’s, this year’s meet’s style highlights all three diving events — the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform — which are showcased at the NCAA Championships. In all events, a preliminary portion will be completed, which then determines who will be competing in the final portion of the diving meet.
The event last fall brought successful results for the Bears. A 2 ½ forward somersault tuck followed by a reverse 1 ½ somersault pike, a back 1 ½ somersault pike, an inward 1 ½ somersault pike, a forward 1 ½ somersault twist free and finally a back somersault 2 ½ twist free signified the end of a successful 1-meter diving event for then sophomore Eleanor Smart. One of the most intriguing aspects of diving is an individual’s ability to showcase one’s assets through a wide array of a choice of which dive to make — a choice that later affects that individual’s points total.
When the team competed in the meet last season, schools from across the nation came to pierce the Texan water in a similar manner to Cal. In the 1-meter championship dive, Smart ranked sixth with a total of 261.40 points, while Sara-Lina Boushakra followed closely behind totaling 249.15 points, finishing in seventh.
In the 3-meter dive, Cal was unable to reel in a strong performance. Then junior Anne Kastler took eighth place in the contest, totaling 278.70 points, while Emma Ivory-Ganja of Texas crushed the event, racking up a total of 395.40 points.
Both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions at the event consisted of a total of six dives, in which the divers performed a series of plunges into the pool in an effort to rack up the highest amount of points possible.
The platform dive consisted of a total of five dives, in which Boushakra placed fourth and Smart seized the fifth-place mark, with a single point separating the two divers, 231.05 points to 230.35 points, respectively.
The divers who are on this season’s roster include Boushakra, Kastler, freshman Phoebe LaMay and junior Hayden Tavoda. This team is looking forward to making enormous waves in not only the upcoming meet but also in the competitions to finalize this season and spring into spring.
Isabella Busacca covers women’s swim. Contact her at [email protected]