New Canaan YMCA's Junior Olympic dive team recently sent 15 area divers to compete in USA Diving's Region 1 Championships against a field of the best 228 divers from all over the Northeast. The top 15 divers in each age group will advance to the Zone A championships in Huntersville, NC in June, with the top divers from that event competing for gold at the AT&T USA Diving National Championships in August.

The Whirlwind Team finished third overall, with 13 of the 15 divers qualifying for the Zone meet. Owen Stevens (Darien) finished the weekend as Whirlwind's top Team Points earner with a first place finish on the 1-meter board, and second place finish on 3-meter.

"Our divers performed very well against some of the best competition in the country. I am particularly proud of Owen [Stevens] who has been working extremely hard in practice and set a new personal record in his 14-15 age group event", said Joe Somma, head coach for the New Canaan based team. "Brothers Lenny and Augie Hibler (Pound Ridge) will also be making their first trip to a Zone competition" Somma added.

Other Whirlwind divers advancing to the Zone competition in both the 1 meter and 3 meter events are Kevin Bradley (Norwalk), Rachel Burston (Stamford), Anne Farley (New Canaan), Timmy Luz (Darien), Wiley Schmidt (Darien). Qualifying on a single board were Allison Courtney (Wilton), Griffin Edmonds (New Canaan), Caleigh Kupersmith (Greenwich), Annabelle Pollack (Greenwich), and Cameron Rhind (New Canaan).

"Our divers have been practicing 4 -- 5 days a week since last October, and we are just now heading into the heart of our season" offered Coach Somma. Some of the Whirlwind divers will next compete over Memorial Day weekend in the AAU National Meet in Coral Springs, FL prior to the Zone A competition in June.

For additional information about the New Canaan YMCA Whirlwind Diving Team, contact Joe Somma at jsomma@newcanaanymca.org.