Archive for September, 2011
Please be sure to get your Comedy Club fundraiser tickets/cash to Tami Kraeger ASAP. the deadline is Monday, September 26th. She is at the pool most days until 6:30 or Shawna Vicker (Nina aka. Shrimp’s mom) will also help with the collection for those of you who are at the pool later. This is a great fund raiser and a time to get to know other divers and their parents…AWAY FROM THE POOL! Please make every effort possible to support this. Past fund raising has bought the team new mats, tivos, tv’s, cameras, and a teaching belt. The kids benefit from our efforts, from lessons to the National Team.
Exactly one year ago, two-time Olympian Mark Ruiz took over as head coach of the
newly formed Orlando-based YCF Diving. In just one short year, Coach Ruiz, along
with his assistant coaches Courtney McClow and Aleia Monden, have not only nearly
tripled the size of their team, but they are in the process of closing the book on a very
successful dive season.
In its inaugural year as a competitive diving team, YCF Diving made quite a splash in
a year filled with impressive results, both as a team and individually. During the 2011
competitive diving season, the team brought home both the spring and summer regional
championship banners that hang proudly at the YMCA Aquatic Center on International
Drive, where the team trains. In addition, they can add the Summer Zone B Team
Championship Runner Up, the East National Team Championship Runner Up and a
respectable seventh place finish at the Junior National Championships this past August.
YCF Diving arrived on the scene and within its first twelve months was able to
announce itself as one of the elite diving programs in the country and a force to be
reckoned with in the future. Just this year, two of its members, Joseph Dowd and
Cherrie Hammond, secured FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) diving
championships. Three graduating members of the team were awarded college
scholarships and will be diving as freshman at Texas A&M, Auburn, and Clemson
universities. Wallace Layland, Joseph Dowd and Mya Kraeger all brought home YMCA
national championships this summer. Joseph’s victory came on platform, Mya secured
titles on both platform and 3 meter, and Wallace swept all three of her events; 1 meter,
3 meter, and platform.
Fourteen of its members qualified for the Spring National Championships held in
Knoxville, at the University of Tennessee this past March and eleven returned to UT this
summer to compete at the Junior National Diving Championships. Two members of the
team that competed at Nationals brought home championship titles. Wallace Layland
(14-15 division) clinched two gold medals on both of her platform events, individual and
synchro; and Rafeal Quintero (16-18 division) is the newly-crowned national champion
for his individual platform performance. Wallace’s accomplishment qualifies her for the
USA National team. She will travel to Medellin, Colombia this September to represent
the United States in the 2011 Pan-American Games.
Two members of the team, Wallace Layland and Justin Dumais, have qualified to
compete for a spot to represent the United States in London at the 2012 summer
games. The Olympic trials will be held near Seattle in June of 2012 at the Wyerhaeuser
King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington. More than 100 divers are
expected to compete.
YCF Diving offers programs for all age and experience levels. For more information,
please visit us at the website www.ycfdiving.com or contact Coach Ruiz directly at (407)
YCF came out strong after competing in our first JO National Championships the first week of August in Knoxville. In overall team standings we finished seventh and we had several standout performances! Special congratulations to our two National Champions Wallace Layland and Rafael Quintero. Wallace first won the womens 14-18 platform synchronized title and then followed it up the next night with a 14-15 girls platform championship! With Wally’s victory she qualified for the US National Team and will compete at Jr Pan American Games in Coloumbia in September. In his first apperance at JO Nationals, Rafael easily won the boys 16-18 mens’ platform compeition. Rafa will also be competing in the Pan Am Games for Puerto Rico. We also had great performances by Mya Kreager and Grace Cable who finaled in all 3 events in their age group and Grayson Kim and Maggie Merrimen who also were finalists. Overall we did a great job! Congratulations to everyone.
Divers of the Month:
Rafael Quintero and Wallly Layland
Wally and Rafa at Junior Nationals
17 year old Rafael Quintero came to YCF diving this summer from Puerto Rico in hopes to improve his diving and gain attention from college diving coaches to earn a scholarship. He arrived as a good springboard diver however he did not like the platform event as much. After training with the JO 5 national groups this summer Rafa began dominating his competition. He learned 8 new dives off the 10 meter as well as improving upon his springboard dives. The highlight of Rafa’s summer came at the JO Nationals where he claimed the boys 16-18 platform championship title. Rafa will be traveling to Columbia this month to represent Puerto Rico at the Pan-American Games. In the fall, Rafa has several recruiting trips to vairous colleges who are offering diving scholarships. Ironically after a summer with YCF diving, platform became Rafa’s best and favorite event.
Wallace Layland came into JO Nationals as motivated and determined as ever to take home the national title on the girls 14-15 platform event. In her first competition of the meet, Wally paired with Gracia to win the girls synchronized platform national title. During the competition, Wally pulled her tricep muscle making it difficult for her to hold her hands over her head when entering in the water. With her individual platform event the next day, Wally could barely warm-up for her event due to the pain from her arm. Through her determination, Wally was able to gut it out and perform one of the most impressive performances at JO Nationals. She not only took home the national title of the platform qualifying her to the USA National team that will compete at the Junior Pan-Am Games and a spot in the 2012 Olympic Trials. Unselfishly, Wally competed in the 3 meter event to a 4th place finish in order to help our team’s standings. Congratulations and best of luck to both Wally and Rafa.
Welcome back YCF divers and parents!
Courtney, Aleia, and I are very excited to start the new diving season with a great group of divers. We look forward to a second great year of YCF diving and already have several fun events planned!
Our first fundraiser of the year will be held at SAK comedy lab on September 30th at 7:30. SAK has a skilled group of comedians who perform a live improv show that is fun for all ages. We are selling tickets for $20 with proceeds going to the YCF diving funds. Please see Tammy Kraeger (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in joining us in what will be a fun night.
Our first in-house diving meet will be on Saturday, October 1st at 10:00 am. This is open to all diving team members and is a great way to meet your fellow teammates. Family and friends are welcome to come out and cheer on the divers. Following the meet we will have a pizza party for all of the competitors.
Mark your calendars! Our second annual YCF Dive-A-Thon which is our biggest fundraising event of the year is slated for Saturday, December 3rd. More information to come about this event in the near future.
Just a side note, this Monday, September 5th, there will be no practice during the Labor Day holiday. Please make sure to turn in your September diving fees to the front desk. I would like everyone to fill out the receipt when the payment is turned in so that we have proof of payment.
Finally I wanted to wish Wallace Layland luck as she travels to Columbia next week to compete for the USA team at Junior Pan American Games. Wally will be competing on the girls 14-15 platform event. Fellow YCF diver Rafael Quintero will also be competing in the boys 16-18 events representing Puerto Rico. We wish them the best of luck!!