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)