April 12, 2005
MIDLAND, Texas –
Two months ago, Florida State University diver Courtney McClow had a breakthrough performance at the Team Orlando All-Start Challenge where she beat last year’s NCAA Champion on the one-meter board. That confidence has taken her performances to new heights against not only the best collegiate divers, but the top divers that the United States has to offer.
McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) stepped up her game at last week at
the US Open Diving Championships where she finished eighth on the platform with a two-day total of 627.87. As well as she did during the finals, McClow was the top qualifier for the finals after the preliminary round. Her tally of 245.19 during the qualifying round put her ahead of four finalist from the US Olympic Trials, including runner up Brittany Viola, and 2005 NCAA platform champion Cassandra Cardinell.
“I’m really pleased with how she performed, that was her best finish at the national level,” FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “She didn’t dive so well on the three-meter, but she came back to win the platform qualifier and then she did a great job in the finals.”
Earlier in the competition, McClow took part in the qualifying round of the three-meter competition. The product of Forrest High School posted a six-dive tally of 178.86 to finish 22nd. Joining her in the three-meter competition was fellow Seminole Alex Tilbrook (Largo, Fla.). The rookie finished 20th in the prelims at 264.06 then took 24th overall with his 243.24 during the finals.
Over the last two months, McClow has capped her Florida State career off in ways that even she couldn’t have imagined when she joined the Seminoles as a walk on four years ago. She finished in the top three of all three boards at the ACC Championships, including a winning performance on the platform in which she set the school record at 438.70. McClow is one of only two members of the swimming and diving team to earn All-ACC honors all four years of their collegiate career.
“This performance got her in front of the national team selection committee and showed them what she’s capable of,” Jeffrey added. “Hopefully she can get picked for selection camp where they train and then pick the divers that are going to compete internationally. Even if she doesn’t get picked for selection camp, a performance like this gets a little bit closer to that goal.”
Taking it to the next level, McClow was one of three divers with at least two top three finishes at the NCAA Zone meet where she took second on the one-meter and third during the platform. The icing on the cake came at the NCAA Championships where she took tenth on the one-meter and 13th in the three-meter competition to earn Honorable Mention All-America accolades.
The swimming and diving program will hand out its team awards and look back on the season on Saturday at the annual team banquet.