National Skills Finals 2013
5th - 6th May - Plymouth Life Centre
Dacorum once again sent a team of 10 divers to the National Skills Finals, hosted this time by the Plymouth Life Centre - home of Tom Daley and Sonia Crouch.
Held over two days, this competition has the best novice divers from all over the UK competing against each other to gain personal bests, and hopefully reach the top 6 to receive a commemorative plate for 6th to 4th place, and for the first time, a trophy for 3rd to 1st place.
Due to the increased numbers of divers in Girls Group D and C,both of these two groups were split into two separate competitons dependant on age. Also for the first time the organisers made the decision to award the top 6 divers in each group due to the record number of 321 entries.
On day one of the competition we had three divers competing and all decimated their previous personal bests.
In Girls Group D 11 years, Jasmine Rowlatt's best poolside dive scoring 8's was her back jump tuck. Moving onto the 1m her best dive was the hurdle step straight jump scoring 7's; finally moving onto the 3m she scored amazing 9.5's on her pike fall. All her hard work paid off with Jasmine coming 9th out of 34 divers, and smashing her previous personal best with a score of 273.50.
Next up was Lewis Irons in Boys Group C 12/13 years, whose best dives on each station, starting with poolside's back jump tuck scoring 9's, a near perfect skill. Moving to 1m, his back jump tuck scored 9's as well; then finally on the 3m his best dive was the back tuck roll off with a score of 9. The many hours of training and his performance on the day netted him 4th place out of 37 with a score of 307.65, to win a commemorative plate.
Our last diver of the day was Louie East, competing in Boys Group D 9/10 years that had a total of 43 divers looking to finish in the top 6. Louie's best dive on poolside was his back jump straight scoring an 8; on 1m his hurdle step straight jump scored 8.5's and finally on 3m the back fall straight scoring 7's. Thanks to Louie's dedication over the past year, he came an impressive 8th with a personal best of 285.30.
Our final 7 divers competed on day 2, all beating their previous personal bests.
First up was Sophia Lunt in the Girls Group B+ competition, which follows a different format from Groups E to C,with 6 FINA dives on the 1m and 4 FINA dives and 2 line ups on the 3m. In her second ever diving competition, four of her 6 dives on the 1m scored 6.5 and above, with 5 dives on the 3m scoring 6.5 and above; a great performance earning her a 3rd place trophy with a score of 364.75 out of a total of 37 divers.
Next up was Sonny Rowlatt in the Boys B+ competition, again following the different 12 dive format, competing against 23 other divers. An impressive 8.5 on his inward tuck on 1m followed by 7 and 6.5's on most of his other dives made his 1m round a good one. On the 3m Sonny was very consistent scoring between 6 and 7.5 on all dives, which when added to his 1m dives won him 5th place and a commemorative plate, with a final score of 346.90.
The third competition was Boys Group E featuring Harvey Potton in his first ever National competition. He beat his nerves to score a 9 and 8's on his front tuck roll off on 3m, and 7's on the hurdle step straight jump on 1m. Scoring a personal best of 225.15 he came 13th, which was a big achievement for his first time at such a huge and noisy competition.
The fouth competition of the day saw three divers competing in the Girls Group C 12 years competition, that was the biggest and most competitive competition of the whole meet with a total of 39 divers. For Maisie Kivlochan and Millie Bobrowski, this was their first ever experience at a major national competition, with Briar Snelling having competed last year.
Millie overcame her first time nerves successfully scoring 6.5 and 7's for the majority of her dives gaining a personal best of 266.65, 22nd place, and the experience of such a highly competitive and large competition.
Maisie also dived well despite her nerves, scoring between 6 and 8 on most of her dives to finish in 20th place with a personal best of 272.30.
Briar having come 8th last year was determined to give the field a run for their money, having overcome the nerves of last year. Her dive of the competition was the pike fall, scoring 9's all round, which earned the crowd a victory dance on poolside. The rest of her dives scored between 7 and 8.5's, with some more dancing whilst waiting for her turn to dive. Her efforts earned her a personal best of 319.90 and a 3rd place trophy and a spot on the podium.
The last competition of the meet Girls Group C 13 years featured Leah Bell and Katherine McKenna, competing against 25 other divers in their first ever diving National Finals .
Katherine with most dives scoring between 6.5 and 8, had an impressive debut finishing 9th overall and coming away with a personal best of 280.80.
Leah scored between 6.5 and 9 on the majority of her dives and beat her previous personal best scoring 295.70 earning her 3rd place and a spot on the podium.
All our divers cheered the team on and presented an united friendly front and were a credit to the club.
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