2015 saw the dawn of a new rivalry between the old institutions of Cambridge and Oxford. Athletes from both universities took to the heights of the springboards in the diving pool at Parkside Pools in Cambridge. This was the very first Varsity* diving competition and saw the newly formed societies produce a thrilling and tense occasion.
Cambridge were dominant in terms of the number of participants entering the event but that only added another dimension to the competition with many training partners pitting themselves against one another. The format of the competition allowed for both novice and previously experienced divers to compete against each other using a mixture of the 1m and 3m springboards.
Cambridge mens’ captain Joshua Mustill lead by example taking the gold medal in the mens’ event. Joshua scored a total of 173.9 points finishing 17 points above rival and Oxford mens’ captain Fraser Allardice who scored 156.1. Joshua, a former diver from Maidstone, performed the hardest dives of the competition that included both an inward one-and-a-half-somersaults tucked and a forward two-and-a-half somersaults tucked. Third place went to Eugene Seah of Cambridge and fourth place to Caludio Bortolini of Cambridge. The standard of the mens’ event was high and showed great promise of becoming a tough competition in years to come.
In the womens’ event, Cambridge fielded a six strong team made up of ex-gymnasts and brand new starters having only dived for a term. It was the captain’s glory again as Gina Curwen, Cambridge Womens Captain, dived with elegance and style to claim first place beating the Oxford Womens Captain, Verena Schenzinger. Gina finished with a total of 152.95 whilst Verena scored 144.1. Rebecca Nixon from Cambridge was chasing all the way and finished close behind on a total of 141.45. Also representing Cambridge wereNickie Dailly, Lisa Steiner, Nicole Deacon-Smith and Tina Xia who finished forth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Once again, the positive and supportive atmosphere led to some amazing efforts by the ladies and the enthusiasm looks set to continue towards next year’s event already.
Cambridge won the team trophy as well as taking first place in both the mens’ and womens’ best dive scores. It was a truly fantastic evening of diving and the perfect way to start what is hoped to be a long tradition of success in the newly formed Varsity Diving Competition.
All photographs were taken by Chris Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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*Varsity status of this meet was unclear since the Oxford club was not officially registered with the Oxford University Sports Federation at the time of the competition.