Three days. Three divers. Three events. The composition of the Texas Diving Invitational highlighted the Cal women’s diving team’s success with each hop from the diving board and each plunge into the familiar cool blue water beneath them.
The competition was one of the first diving meets of the year, allowing the team to showcase solely diving rather than a combination of both swimming and diving. The meet itself alternated between men’s and women’s events, and the format consisted of a 3-meter event Thursday, followed by a 1-meter dive Friday and the platform competition Saturday.
The 3-meter and 1-meter events both showcased six individual dives, while the platform event featured five dives.
On Thursday, Cal didn’t muster enough energy to qualify for the finals of the 3-meter dive, so none of the top eight places were bestowed upon any Bears. Mara Aiacoboae of Arizona State captured the event, bringing in a final score of 345.00. This event came as a disappointment for Texas, which hosted the event, but settled for an eighth-place title.
With the rise of the Austin sun Friday, the Bears rigorously competed in both the preliminary portion and the final portion of the 1-meter dive. Freshman Phoebe LaMay, who is native to the Lone Star State, took second in the event, totalling 313.25 points, behind Meghan Houston of the Longhorns, who swept the event with a total of 315.65 points. Cal senior Anne Kastler finished in sixth place, her combination of dives earning her 296.80 points. Of the three Cal divers who went to the meet, two placed among the top eight in the 1-meter event, which demonstrated the Bears’ success at the meet.
Saturday marked the last day of the competition, and individuals gathered to compete in the final event — the platform. Senior Sara-Lina Boushakra of Cal plunged from the tallest board of the meet to place seventh in the event after garnering 231 points flat, followed by teammate Kastler, who took eighth, totalling 226.35 points. Aiacoboae, who had earlier captured the 1-meter dive Friday, complemented her last win with a victory in the platform event after racking up a solid 349.40 points.
The next diving-only meet comes in the form of the mid-December, six-day U.S. Senior Nationals Diving competition, held in Columbus, Ohio.
Isabella Busacca covers women’s swim. Contact her at [email protected]