The Lion Invitational at TCNJ was a very kind event to the divers of the men’s and women’s squads from Springfield College last weekend.
Five divers qualified for the diving Nationals in March based on their performances in New Jersey. Brian Sobel and Matt Fitzgerald both achieved the feat for the males, while Michelle Reggio, Meghan Kijanka, and Courtney Keefe all posted qualifying marks for in the women’s events.
Sobel, a sophomore from Stratford, Conn, continued his climb into SC’s diving lore as he captured four events over two days. After being named an alternate to the National event a year ago, Sobel has ensured he will be there this season.
Sobel’s marks were good for wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter 11 dive competitions on Friday. He saved his best performance of the weekend for Saturday, as he claimed the 1-meter and 3-meter 6 dive competitions.
By compiling his score of 329.63 in the 1-meter 6 dive contest, Sobel not only broke the school record-set by 2006 National champion Mike Shaw- but also established the top score recorded by any diver in the country this year.
He also missed a second SC record by less than a point in the 3-meter 6 dive on Saturday as he posted a score of 343.65. Sobel was named the NEWMAC Diver of the Week for the second time this season for his efforts.
Fitzgerald finished second to Sobel in three of the four events, and claimed third in the other. The junior from Pelham, NH, posted a score of 481.35 in the one-meter 6 dive on Friday. His score was good enough to qualify for Nationals at the end of the season.
Leading the on the women’s side was junior Michelle Reggio. The Brooklyn, NY native almost matched Sobel’s performance as she won three of the four events she competed in. Like Sobel, she also qualified for Nationals in all four events this weekend and managed to set a school record along the way. She established a new school mark in the one meter, as she posted a score of 468.08.
Kijanka was one of Reggio’s biggest competitors all weekend at the event. She finished behind Reggio’s record setting performance in the one meter on Saturday by just three points and was able to capture the Friday’s version of the one-meter. The junior from Methuen’s Saturday score was good enough to earn her qualifying status for the Nationals.
Courtney Keefe, a freshman from Waltham continued to make a name for herself on Alden Street as she made a big splash last weekend. On day one of the invitational, she qualified for Nationals after posting a score over 400 in the one-meter dive. On the second day, she continued to thrive, helping SC take the first three spots in the three-meter event.