Plymouth Diving kick started the new season travelling to the Southampton Invitational, held 22nd-24th October. The team of 17 divers were full of positive attitude despite limited training following a ten-day pool closure, which pitted elite and age group divers in the West Quay Pool.
Coach Fito Guttierez said that this competition was a chance for the divers to try new dives and set the bar for improvements in 2023 towards gaining scores for qualifying for National Age Groups and Junior Elites at the Plymouth Armada Cup in February.
Harry Westbury was the only Plymouth diver representing the D group boys on both 1m and 3m boards, where he placed 6th on 1m, and won the first medal of the competition, a bronze on the 3m.
Lexi Davies, Eva Lang and Martha Ticehurst represented the C group girls, all diving brilliantly in a large group of 30, where Lexi proved consistent diving on both springboard events rewarding her a place in the final on 1m continuing to win a bronze medal.
Oscar Westbury, Noah Underwood, Alex Whittaker and Will Heath competed in the C group boys event, a tight contest, all displaying their skills with Alex Whittaker making two finals on the 3m and platform events and taking the silver medal in the platform final. Will Heath also joined Alex in the platform final, just missing out on a podium finish in fourth place but gaining a new PB.
Whilst there were no medals in the large B group girls event, there were plenty of new PB’s won. Erin Healey, Rose McCabe and Mathide Tassart all dived brilliantly for Plymouth, and all managed new PB’s, Erin 35 points on 1m, Tilly also a PB on 1m. Rose achieved PB’s on all her boards with a huge 30 point PB on 1m. Great successes to all three girls.
The A group girls saw finals reached for Maia Pearson on 3m and Ellie Pearce on 1m, who both pulled out the dives in the finals and took home a silver medal each on their respective boards. Maddie Elliot joined this group, new to age group diving and diving up from B group, and just missing the finals in 8th position.
Elite divers this year meant that the divers had to place in the top two in the preliminaries of the elite diver category to continue into the final. Whilst Scarlett Colbourne placed 4th on the 1m, she just missed out on a final spot. Ollie Heath placing 6th in preliminaries and Archie Waines who dived up a year in A came 7th, meant that they were also unable to join the finals but demonstrated excellent diving on their boards.
Divers were supported by Pilkington Estates, and coached by Fito Guttierez, Tommy Davies and Harry Mason.