While the regular season may have ended for some of the Maroons last weekend at the UAA Championships, the peak of competition has only just begun for several members of both the men’s and women’s squads. This weekend kicks off the postseason, with representatives from the diving teams heading to Granville, OH to participate in the NCAA Diving Regional.
Chicago sends three representatives: one from the men’s side and two from the women’s. Second-year Dean Boures, who finished third in both the one-meter and three-meter dive at the UAA Championships, will face 23 competitors. Boures was named to the All-UAA team this year, and was integral to the success of the team in several meets this year. He finished first in both dives against Lewis University and Olivet Nazarene University, won again against DePauw and Calvin, and once again swept the dives against Olivet Nazarene and Lake Forest.
The second-year also finished in seventh place at both heights at the UIC Diving Invitational, which is certainly a respectable finish in a competition that brought DI divers to the pool. However, despite these impressive accomplishments, Boures will not be competing this weekend due to injury; he retains to honor of being a Regional qualifier regardless.
On the women’s side, first-year diver Anna Gilrich will represent the Maroons, as will fellow second-year diver Natalie DeMuro. While only a rookie, Gilrich has been a sparkplug for the Maroons all year in a season in which she has captured the title of UAA Diver of the Year. Gilrich also won the UAA Championship in the one-meter dive, and will certainly look to carry her success into Regional play, where she will look to move on to the next round—the NCAA Championships in Greenboro, NC in three weeks.
Meanwhile, DeMuro has defeated the legendary “Sophomore Slump” and has been a key piece of the Maroons’ success this year. In particular, DeMuro will be taking part in the one-meter and three-meter dives this weekend, where she will look to top career best scores of 417.90, and 290.80 respectively.
While the Maroons are certainly honored to send three of their finest to the Regional Tournament, there are some unfortunate consequences for those selected. Specifically, these Maroons will not have the support of the whole team, a group whose chemistry was one of the major keys to success for the South Siders this year.
“It’s going to be a very different atmosphere since we will not have as much team support as usual, but we are also used to having a small team which allows us to focus more on these important meets,” Gilrich said.
Despite this loss of support, the Maroons are sure to remain focused, a sentiment Gilrich shared as she said, “We’ve just been trying to clean up all of our dives a little bit and make everything as consistent as possible.”
With that, Gilrich and DeMuro kick off things this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Granville, OH at Denison University. If they hit the necessary marks, they will advance to the NCAA Championships in North Carolina in three weeks ‘time.