Seven divers from the Thunder Bay Diving Club (TBDC) travelled to Winnipeg this past weekend (January 19-21) to compete in a National qualifying dive meet known as the Vaughan Baird Polar Bear Classic. This competition has a reputation for having the „best in the west‟ attend. Up against 11 of Canada‟s top clubs, TBDC earned 7 medals in total and 14 National qualifying scores.
“A spectacular performance by Thunder Bay,” said confident Mike Lang, TBDC Head Coach “our performance was noted by Canada‟s top teams and top competitors! Merlo and Carlson owned their competition and served noticed to the rest of the girls in their age groups that they are the ones to beat this year. Our Club is definitely building back its reputation and I have no doubt we will be on top at Nationals this summer.”
In group C, ages 12 & 13, tough competition gave Cristen Merlo a fight for the podium, she finished all three events with hardware: Gold, Gold, Silver. Merlo, Coralie Cote and Christopher Lake-Voros, all achieved national qualifying scores. Noah Kilby performed his best yet achieving personal best scores on all events.
In group B, ages 14 & 15, like Merlo, Carlson brought home three medals as well: Gold, Gold, Bronze. While, Helena Heiskanen managed to enter the water with no splash on one of the hardest dives in her age group – a front 3.5 off 10-metre. Both Carlson and Heiskanen achieved national qualifying scores. New comer to the sport of diving, Graeme Cano, earned his first medal on the 1 metre, at the provincial level in group B.
TBDC‟s most seasoned athlete at this competition, Molly Carlson, tested the waters in the senior category and faired well by making finals and finishing 5th overall on the 3-metre. In addition to that, her score was over the senior national qualifying standard on this board, this achievement was a first for Carlson.