COLUMBUS, Ohio The powerful Ohio State University diving program, under the expert guidance and creative leadership of head coach Vince Panzano, added to its storied tradition and history in 2007-08 with two more national champions. And with the return of two NCAA chamions and five All-Americans for the 2008-09 season, the future remains extremely bright for  the Ohio State diving program.

Junior Chelsea Davis and freshman Sean Moore are Ohio State diving’s newest national champions. Davis, from Columbus, won the 3-meter diving title March 21 at the NCAA championships held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Moore, from Englewood Colo., followed his father Tim a five-time national champion at Ohio State as a national champion when he captured the 10-meter platform title March 29 at the men’s NCAA championships in Federal Way, Wash.

“Having two national champions is a moment in a coaching career that one could never predict,” Panzano said. “Chelsea and Sean are two wonderful, bright kids who work tremendously hard in both school and athletics. They both deserve every good thing that comes their way.”

The title was unexpected for Davis. “I wasn’t expecting it,” she said.  “It is definitely such an incredible experience. Not only did I win a national championship, but I got to do it at home at Ohio State. It is something I’ll always remember.”

Judging by his post-meet comments, Moore was confident and thoroughly enjoyed his run to the national title. 

“It is really unbelievable,” Moore said. “I can’t even describe what it feels like. I just found my own happy place and stayed there for the whole meet.”

Moore was only sixth after the preliminary round of dives but he came back to capture his NCAA title with an NCAA record-breaking score of 478.20.

“I didn’t even know that I broke the record,” Moore said. “I just got up there and sank some putts.”

62 Diving National Champions
The national titles by Davis, who was named Tri-Diver of the Year after the national championships, and Moore represent the 61st and 62nd individual diving national titles for Ohio State and increased Panzano’s national champions total to 12, with 11 of those champions Buckeyes.

Vince Panzano’s Ohio State National Champions
2008 Chelsea Davis 3-Meter
2008 Sean Moore 10-Meter Platform
2003 Natalia Diea 10-Meter Platform
1991 David Pichler 10-Meter Platform
1988 Kim Fugett 3-Meter
1988 Debbie Fuller 10-Meter Platform
1988 Patrick Jeffrey 3-Meter
1988 Patrick Jeffrey 3-Meter
1987 Karen LaFace 1-Meter
1987 Mike Wantuck 3-Meter
1983 Mark Bradshaw 3-Meter

Five More All-Americans
In addition to Davis and Moore, Ohio State had three other divers earn All-America honors at their respective NCAA championships.

  • Freshman Bianca Alvarez, from Miami, Fla., earned All-America honors after placing second on the 3-meter and fifth on the 1-meter event. 
  • Another freshman, Kristin Asman, from Columbus, picked up her All-America honor by placing fourth on the platform. She also was 10th on the 1-meter and 16th on 3-meter.
  • Junior Wes Wieser, from Chesterfield, Mo., took seventh on the platform for his All-America effort.

Panzano, who was named Women’s Diving Coach of the Year (his fourth such honor), was pumped after the women’s NCAA meet produced three All-America honors on different events.

“Our three divers were awesome,” Panzano said. “Obviously they placed well and to have three All-Americans on three different events is really special.”

Panzano has now coached 75 All-Americans and Ohio State has produced 158 diving All-Americans through the years.

The diving squads helped the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team place 15th at the 2008 NCAA championships and the men’s team to a 16th place finish at the men’s NCAA championships.

The Ohio State swimming and diving teams compete at one of the finest competition pools and diving wells in the United States: the three-year-new Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, which features new technology that provides for some of the fastest times and best diving in the country. In fact, the July 2007 issue of Aquatics International magazine stated this about McCorkle:

“…a state-of-the-art competition pool loaded with the latest technology sets a university apart from the competition.”

Dedicated October 14, 2005, the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion is the newest addition to Ohio State’s top-notch athletic facilities. The Pavilion consists of the Mike Peppe Natatorium and the Ron O’Brien Diving Well.

“These kinds of performances national champions and All-Americans would be impossible without the facility we are blessed to have at Ohio State,” said Panzano. “The McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and the O’Brien Diving Well give us the opportunity to host the most important meets, train in a state of the art facility and attract the most outstanding student-athletes.”

Seven Buckeyes will compete at the Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships in Minneapolis April 16-20 with spots in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Diving up for grabs. Divers may automatically qualify into the semifinals, which begin April 16, based on finishes in past events. Divers not prequalified will dive in preliminaries on April 13-14 to try to earn spots in the semifinals.

Buckeyes competing: 
Asman, Kristen prequalified on platform; will also dive in 1m, 3m prelims
Davis, Chelsea prequalified on 3m; will also dive in 1m prelims
Harkness, Kellen prequalified on 3m
Jefferson, Ryan will dive in 1m, 3m prelims; also will dive in 3m synchro with Moore
Moore, Sean prequalified on 10m; will dive in 1m, 3m prelims; also will dive 3m synchro with Jefferson and 10m synchro with Wieser
Showe, Burkley prequalified on 3m; also will dive in 3m synchro with Justin Wilcock
Wieser, Weston will dive in 1m, 3m, 10m prelims; also will dive 10m synchro with Moore
(Bianca Alvarez is not competing she’ll be representing the United States at a FINA Grand Prix meet in Russia from April 10-13.).

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