White Rock Divers member Mattias Frohloff, 11, won a silver medal at junior-development national championships last month in Regina. (Lawrence Lu photo)

White Rock Divers make splash at national competitions

Mattias Frohloff, 11, wins silver medal at junior-development meet

Members of the White Rock Divers – competing at both junior and senior levels – got plenty of frequent-flyer points last month, as the team scattered across the country for two different national competitions.

Most recently, the youngest divers were in Regina, Sask. for Junior Development Nationals, where Mattias Frohloff stole the show with a silver-medal winning performance on the platform.

The 11-year-old diver competed on both the five- and 7.5-m platform, and put up a dominating score of 292 points in the preliminary rounds. Adding to his podium finish – which takes into account performances on both platform heights – the youngster also placed sixth overall on the one-metre springboard competition, and sixth in preliminaries on the three-metre board.

“He was fantastic,” said White Rock Divers founder Bev Boys of Frohloff, who joined the South Surrey-based club a few years ago after his family moved to the area from Victoria. “He’s very dedicated and focused. I’d love to take all the credit for him (and his success), but he came to us as a very good diver already for his age.

“He’s a real gem.”

The silver medal for Frohloff is the latest in a string of accomplishments this year that began back in the spring. At the Mark LePoole Sting competition in Victoria last March, the young diver won three gold medals and also set a Sting meet record in the 11-and-under-boys age bracket after scoring 285.6 points on the five-metre platform.

Also in Regina, two White Rock Divers – Leighton Reynolds and Daniela Iasinska – were competing in their first-ever national competitions. Another club member, Amelia Semple, was also in attendance, competing in her second national competition.

In order to qualify for nationals, White Rock divers had to fare well at a provincial meet in Victoria in May. At that competition, the club placed second overall in team standings – a best-ever result, Boys said.

“It was an important milestone for us,” she said, also heaping credit on the club’s two coaches, Jose Palma and Igor Kopecky.

“We have some amazing, talented kids here.”

Recently, both Frohloff and Reynolds were invited to a junior-development camp, which is set for Montreal in the fall.

“That’s a real coup to get invited to that type of camp,” Boys said.

A few weeks prior to the Regina competition, a handful of the club’s older members flew to Montreal for 2019 Junior Elite Nationals, which were held from July 4-7.

That event was highlighted by Jessie Nowotny, who placed fifth overall on the one-metre board.

“That was a great result for her, to finish fifth, and she very easily could have had a medal,” said Boys.

Nowotny was competing at her national age-group nationals meet; she will soon head south to the University of Nevada-Reno on a diving scholarship.

“We’re very excited for her. She’ll do well – it’s a good school for her,” Boys said.

As was the case in Regina, the Montreal meet also served as the national-level debut for a pair White Rock Divers members – Celia Galvez-Aranda and Carter Baker – while Maddie Green, competing on the one- and three-metre springboard events, was taking part in her fifth such meet.

“Your first time at a national meet, it can be intimidating because it’s your first time outside of the province,” explained Boys, who is a three-time Olympian and longtime international diving judge.

“It’s good experience. Carter, he did very well, but he said to me the other day, ‘Next time, I’ll be ready.’”

Though the competitive season has now ended, White Rock Divers are still hosting summer camps, as well as accepting registration for the fall season. For more information, go to www.southsurreywhiterockdivers.com



sports@peacearchnews.com

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