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Trio of SA divers shine at United States meetings

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By Mark Etheridge

Rio Olympics diver Julia Vincent has racked up more success in the United States as she builds up towards the South African nationals coming up in April.

Studying at the University of South Carolina, the former Johannesburg athlete took part in the one and three-metre springboard events in the week-long SEC (Southern Eastern Conference) Championships meet.

‘There are multiple conferences here in the US and there are 12 schools in my conference,’ said Vincent (pictured above). ‘We have one of the strongest swimming and diving conferences in the nation.

‘So this week I placed first on the 3-metre springboard with a school and pool record of 400.50 and on the 1-metre springboard I finished with a score of 358.85 in the prelim to get the school record and later that night in the final I finished with a score of 351.85 to get the bronze medal.’

It was ground-breaking stuff for Vincent. ‘The 400.50 score is now my six-dive best score. In college we do six dives instead of five, so this is my new personal best with six dives.’

It was altogether a successful week for Vincent. ‘In the competitions leading up to our championship meet, I had 9/9 wins on the 3m springboard and 8/9 wins on the 1m springboard and I was awarded “SEC Diver of the Week” four times this season.’

Next on her schedule is the Zones Meet in two weeks. ‘They’re at Auburn University and I’ll have the opportunity to qualify for the college national championship (NCAA Championship) and then I’ll fly home for South African Nationals in April.’

Vincent’s college career concludes in December when she graduates after majoring in public health and minoring in psychology.

But Vincent isn’t the only South African diver in the headlines.

Her fellow Johannesburg athlete Nicole Gillis was also named SEC Female Diver of the Week last month.

diverIn a competition against Kansas, the Arkansas Razorback junior (pictured right) dived to two NCAA Zone scores on the 1m and 3m boards.

In doing so, she recorded the second-best score on the school’s all-time top performers list in the 3m, setting a lifetime best with a score of 347.93.

On the 1m, Gillis tallied a 303.45 to take first place and now owns the top five scores in the event this season by Arkansas.

And yet another South African diver was also in the news.

This from Micaela Bouter: ‘I won our 3m conference final and was just named the Conference’s most outstanding Diver of the Year.

‘Our conference is American Athletic Conference. It was a pretty cool weekend.’

diverBouter (pictured receiving her trophy, right) is studying at the University of Houston where she competes for the Cougars, who won the American Athletic Conference, the first time in programme history.

The university is well-known for producing Olympic diving finalists.


6 comments
Colleen Monteith
Colleen Monteith

So so proud of you Mix!! All that dedication and hard work has paid off!! Well done!

Cheryl Eltringham
Cheryl Eltringham

Aaaaahhhh, so cool - and TWO Moms of divers I know - huge congrats Ladies\U0001f49c - such dedication \U0001f44c

Angela Carr Lambson
Angela Carr Lambson

Amazing, Alison Taylor Bouter. Thanks for sharing, Colleen Monteith \U0001f495