By Jessica Pollack
Four Long Beach based McCormick Divers returned victorious from the U.S. Diving Spring Region 9 Championships in Tucson, Arizona. Each of the four divers earned a place at the West National Championships next month in Oklahoma.
The youngest qualifiers are both nine-year-old Long Beach residents. Griffin Small will compete on both 1-meter and 3-meter springboard in the Boys 11&under age group. He earned his top scores on his inward somersault in tuck position on 1-meter and inward dive in pike position on the 3-meter springboard. Jenna Sonnenberg earned the highest place of all McCormick Divers with a third place finish on the 3-meter springboard and is an alternate should a fellow competitor choose not to compete on 1-meter. She earned her top score on the inward one-and-one-half somersault. This is Jenna’s second trip to the USA Diving Spring Junior West National Championships.
In the 12-13 Girls, Long Beach resident, Sara Knippa earned the chance to compete on the 3-meter springboard at Nationals. The twelve-year old earned her highest score on her back one-and-one half somersault in pike position. She could have the chance to compete on 1-meter springboard if other qualifiers are unable to attend.
In his last chance to qualify for Spring Junior Nationals, seventeen-year-old Adam Payne earned his first trip to USA Diving Nationals after competing in five Australian Age Group National Championships. He earned his top score on his inward two-and-one-half somersaults in tuck position.
McCormick Divers had a number of additional divers who put in great performances over the weekend. Twelve-year-old Mary Sojian and fourteen-year old Dolly Payne are potential alternates on 1-meter in the 12-13 and 14-15 Girls events. In the Girls’ 16-18 events, Lauren Skinner, Erica Curry and Olivia Payne put in strong performances as did Alex Pasillas in the 16-18 Boys springboard events.
McCormick Divers train in Long Beach. They have been training for springboard events at the ML King Pool while Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool has been under repair. The team is looking forward to returning to Belmont when it reopens later this month where they will be able to get back to training for Platform events.