CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson diving team opens the 2015-16 season Friday when it hosts its fourth annual Diving Exhibition at 6:15 p.m. at McHugh Natatorium. The unofficial meet gives divers an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of an audience of fans and allows them to do a run-through of optional dives they may wish to exhibit during regular-season competition. The exhibition also gives its audience insight into the basics and learning points involved with competitive diving and provides them with exciting entertainment featuring audacious dives on both the springboard and diving platforms. This event is both free and open to the public.
Head Coach Leslie Hasselbach Adams is excited to get the season underway after designating three home meets on this season’s schedule as opposed to only two during the 2014-15 campaign.
“McHugh Natatorium is a great place to host a diving competition,” said Hasselbach Adams. “I am excited that we will be in our ‘home’ three times this year. We have the best fans at our competitions and our team feeds off of their energy.”
After a quick turnaround following the Diving Exhibition, the season officially starts on Saturday, Oct. 24 when the Tigers travel to Columbia, S.C. to take on the Gamecocks at Carolina Natatorium at 11 a.m.
“We are excited for our upcoming season. The schedule provides our ladies with many excellent competitive opportunities, both at home and on the road.”
Beginning its fourth season as a program, Clemson continues to build upon the success of previous seasons while looking to garner more national recognition in the process. Rising junior Sarah Braun became the program’s first-ever national qualifier when she placed third in the one-meter and sixth in the three-meter at the 2015 USA Diving National Preliminary Zone E Championships in Beaverton, Oregon in June.
Braun leads a group of experienced divers, including seniors Tabitha Banks, Megan Helwagen, Juliana Melchionda and Jessica Resler; fellow junior Danielle Reitsma; and sophomores Allison Brophy, Hannah Donovan and Megan Jendra. Braun, Brophy, Donovan and Helwagen were all participants in last year’s NCAA Zone B Championships, with Braun and Helwagen advancing to the finals in two and one events, respectively.
The team also boasts a group of five talented freshmen, some of whom received national recognition before their arrival at Clemson and are promising prospects for the program. Sarah Blank, Jaya Brown, Morgan Fiske, Caylin Hirapara and Erin Lee round out the team of 14 Tigers and will play key roles in the program’s successes for the upcoming season.
Friday’s exhibition will be the first of three chances to see the Tigers in competition at McHugh Natatorium. Clemson will also play host to Georgia Southern on Jan. 9, 2016 and James Madison on Jan. 30 2016, both at 11 a.m., with the meet against Georgia Southern being slated as the team’s Senior Recognition day.
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