Wiercinski dives into GV history once again

GVL / Mohamed Azuz

GVL / Mohamed Azuz

Lucas Rains

Sophomore diver Taylor Wiercinski and the Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s diving teams showed off some postseason promise in their final event of the regular season.

Wiercinski three GVSU Pool records and a varsity record to highlight GVSU’s sweep of Hope College in its first ever diving meet, which featured an 11-dive format that is used at the conference and national meets.

GVSU diving coach Steve Burciaga said the event went well even though two visiting teams could not make the trip.

“Unfortunately two of the teams had to back out,” Burciaga said. “For Alma, their team has come down with the flu, so they couldn’t come.

“We still had Hope, which brought five divers. It was still a good meet because they have some competitive divers, which is nice. They have a pretty good program running over there.”

He said he hopes to build the meet and have more schools involved in the future. A total of 12 divers competed in the inaugural event.

“Twelve divers was pretty good for the first time,” he said. “In upcoming years, we’d like to get it up to twice that amount and have 24 or 25 divers competing.”

Freshman Anna Barry and senior Katie Vulpetti both qualified for nationals during the meet. All four Laker women have now booked a trip.

Barry scored 416.25 in the 1-meter and 376.55 in the 3-meter while Vulpetti and freshman Kayla Marquardt also scored in the 400s.

“I did really well today. (The) 1-meter went really well for me,” Barry said. “I set a new personal record and qualified for nationals.”

Wiercinski finished first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. She set pool records in the 1 meter 6 dive (309.25), 1 meter 11 dive (496.55) and 3 meter 11 dive (496.35), which was also a varsity record.

“It looks like she’s making a little run,” Burciaga said of Wiercinski. “She could actually get a little better, which is scary.”

Vulpetti placed third in the 1-meter dive with a score of 421.90.

Sophomore Ben Cornillie led the way for the Laker men by recording a pair of personal bests. He scored 384.75 in the 1-meter and 370.95 in the 3-meter.

“I enjoyed it. It was a pretty cool experience having an invitational here,” Cornillie said. “It’s very good practice for conference and nationals, where it’s really going to be important.”

Sophomores Alex Wong and Jeff Collins took second and third in both the 1- and 3-meter dive events for the Lakers.

“This was a good warm up,” Burciaga said. “Having that good competition really helps, too. I thought they did very well.”

The team will have a couple of weeks to practice and prepare for the GLIAC Championships, which are set to begin on Feb. 12 in Geneva, Ohio.