National Age Group Championships – Sheffield

The team for Luton Diving Club’s major event of the year consisted of Katie Cripps, Oliver Simpson, Katherine Kerr (Group D), and Henry Biggs (Group B). Unfortunately James Cripps had to be pulled out one week before due to injury. Well done to all the hard work the divers put into this one, this nationals were new to everyone with Henry’s first year in B; and Katie, Katherine, and Oliver’s also in the first year of their age group and first ever Nationals following on from a successful skills season in 2012 and their recent age group competitions. Our coaches at this meet were Chelsey Lawson and David Jenkins and giving a fantastic team feel to the whole trip was our chaperones Rhoda Cockburn and Candy Simpson.

Henry Biggs: On Day 1 Henry was up first performing platform list lower than his usual degree of difficulty due to only just recovering from a broken toe! However he did not hold back on his dives and started his first with a bang. Although missing his back dive, Henry did very well on his other required dives and after his penultimate dive he was placed 3rd. Holding his nerve with the pressure from the field behind him, he performed a solid last dive to finish 2nd with 205.85pts (there was only 5.85pts between 2nd and 5th!) Well done Henry! Henry had a brilliant 3m with a very strong all round performance not dropping below 5.5’s and staying around the 6.5’s. His top dive scored 39pts and the rest did not drop out of the 30’s. Although his degree of difficulty was lower, this consistent performance saw him pass others with harder dives in their list. Henry scored 247.80pts and placed 9th with this performance; only 15pts from a medal. Henry’s final competition was 1m. Although starting well with high scoring forward and inward required dives, his back and reverse and more complex optional dives fell short of his potential. 213.60pts placed Henry 11th and with a lot of urge to get back to his full fitness and normal list of dives! The start of summer training has already seen him increase his difficulty.

Oliver Simpson: Starting the event off on 3m, and after working hard in training, he had managed to up his degree of difficulty for this board by competing 3 new dives. Oliver showed a consistent performance throughout the competition finishing 16th with 128.35. Oliver’s next competition was platform. He had a brilliant performance on this board scoring 6.5’s on 2 of his dives. Oliver stepped up his game and went for all his dives in this competition and he succeeded finishing 7th with a score of 123.05. Oliver’s final competition was on 1m. Oliver started the competition on a high, scoring 6’s on his first two dives keeping up in the top 6. After the next three dives he fell down the table slightly finishing in 10 with 139.45, still a very promising performance. This was only Oliver’s second age group competition and is now back in training working on getting a higher degree of difficulty to boost him up the ranks. Oliver also achieved a new personal best on all three boards, which is a great achievement in itself. This was a brilliant performance by Oliver.

Katie Cripps: Katie’s first competition was on 5m. Katie completed a steady set of dives and worked really hard throughout the competition, pushing herself to do well. Katie finished in 10th place scoring 105.65. On 3m Katie started off with a fantastic 103B. Walking into the competition Katie was feeling the pressure as her training session prior had led her to changing her dive sheet and competing a dive that had not been trained. However considering this Katie still worked hard and finished 11th scoring 109.85 Finally Katie competed on platform, and this was by far her highlight of the weekend. She worked so hard on her form and tiding up and she succeeded, getting 6’s on her last 3 dives. After a long weekend Katie finished 7th on platform with a score of 93.35. Good job Katie.

Katherine Kerr: Katherine also competed on 1m first. She had a great competition scoring late 20s – mid 30s on every dive except one. Katherine showed her talent right from the start of this event finishing 2nd with a score of 153.80. Katherine’s next competition was on 3m. A good set of consistent divers were performed by Katherine. She scored 28-38 points on all of her dives which gave her a score of 155.30. Katherine finished the competition in 3rd place, stepping on the podium for a 2nd time in the meet. Katherine’s final competition was on platform and she saved the best till last. Katherine really excelled in this competition knowing what she needed to do to get the result she wanted. Katherine went through the competition in 1st/ 2nd place and on her final dive she knew she needed to complete the dive to the best of her ability, scoring a massive 42.00 points she took gold and became ‘Girls D National Platform Champion’. Well done Katherine!

Overall, this was a brilliant meet giving a new and exciting experience to the entire team. The team had a great time and lots of fun sticking with each other in the day and the evening for their meal thanks to some well organised chaperoning; a game of rounders after each day on the green was a clear hit and kept up their competitiveness (after a day of competing, we thought it might of been a friendly?!). Congratulations to all the divers, now for a break until late September giving them time to strengthen their list of dives!

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