That’s a wrap on the 2016 Jr. Development National Championships and what a competition we had!
The ONDC brought a team of 4 athletes to compete at this competition and finished with great success while overcoming some obstacles along the way. Two weeks prior to the competition, our home pool was closed down for renovations for 3 months. Our athletes travelled to Gatineau to train for 4 days while balancing their end of year school tasks, graduations and excitement for the upcoming competition. We then travelled to Montreal on the monday to train for the entire week to adjust to the environment and the boards to give our athletes the best chance they could have at top finishes.
From the start of the first whistle of the first event friday, the ONDC showed amazing determination and drive for success. By the final dive on sunday, all of Canada knows who we are and what our athletes can do!
To begin with our youngest, Catherine Boyer, only 10 years old competed all 3 events at her very first nationals. She showed great focus and consistency to earn her a 7th place finish on 1m, 6th place finish on 3m and a 4th place finish on tower. Competing against girls one year older than her, she has one more year in this age category to hone her skills and earn that “top 3 finish” next year! Not many 10 year old can say that they are nationally ranked in the top 5 for their respective sports! A huge congratulations on your first nationals Cath, we are very proud of you!
Next up was Tim Lewis. For those who are unfamiliar let me first explain that the caliber of diving in this age group has NEVER been tougher. There are potentially 5 of our next olympians is this category currently and the national tower record was broken and one of Alex Despatie’s records held for 18 years was nearly broken. Tim showed great focus and some awesome dives throughout the weekend, not letting the competition throw him off his game. Competing against many older athletes, Tim also has one more year to boost up his difficulty and clean up some dives to try for a spot on Team Canada for the 2017 Jr. Pan Ams. He finished off his weekend with a 11th place finish on 1m, 10th on 3m and 10th on tower. Congratulations on your weekend Tim!
Next up was Kathryn Grant! Kathryn was determined to prove that she deserves to keep her spot on the national team. She set an ambitious goal for the weekend of “top 3 finishes on every event” On day 1 of the competition she punched in her spot on the national team for 2016-2017 season with a GOLD MEDAL on the 1m event. On her 3m event, she narrowly missed out on achieving her goal. At the national level consistency is key and she missed her last dive to bump her down a few spots to a 5th place finish. Her tower event began a little shaky in practice but all in all showed a strong performance! One tiny mistake on her compulsory dive was enough to move her to 4th place. She had already proven herself earlier as one of the best on tower and now with one more year to go in the “C” category, we will get everything polished up that come nationals next year, she will have her sights set yet again on Team Canada for the 2017 Jr. Pan Ams! Congratulations on a fantastic weekend Kathryn!
Finally our oldest athlete Emma! She has shown amazing improvement throughout the season. She was rewarded for being the only athlete in our club to accomplish every dive set out for her at the beginning of the year. Heading to national championships with one of the most difficult lists on every event in her category she showed what she is capable of performing. With fierce competition and consistency being key, performing bigger dives yield greater risk and rewards. She was rewarded a few times over the weekend for showing her skills and some dives fell short of what her coach Kathleen knows she is capable of doing! She finished her weekend with a 12th place finish on 1m, 10th place on 3m and 12th place on tower. She has now finished her “C” category as a finalist on every event and is now moving to the Jr. Elite Nationals for next season entering the Girls “B” category. Congratulations Emma on your weekend!