Jan. 28, 2004
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. –
For every member of the Florida State University swimming and diving team, the dream is there to represent their country at the Olympic Games. Two Seminoles took a step towards making that dream a reality when they competed at the USA Diving World Cup Trails.
While the majority of the Florida State team was competing at Georgia Tech on January 17, junior Tiffany Manning (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and freshman Taryn Ignacio (Richmond, Ky.) were vying for a spot on the World Cup Team. Contending in the platform event, Manning finished fifth at 738.24-the best showing by a collegiate diver-while Ignacio’s 595.77 was 12th.
“This was a real shot in the arm for them, especially Tiffany,” FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “Tiffany has always had the talent, but I think it’s been the confidence that has been lacking and this will definitely help her out. She finished behind the Olympic champion, another Olympian and two national team members; this definitely shows her that she’s in the hunt.”
The top four from the trials earn a trip to Athens, Greece, for the 14th FINA Diving World Cup where they will compete at the Olympic venue. Even though no Olympic Trials points – which help determine who is invited to the event – were handed out, the strong performance by the Seminoles will benefit them when it come time to fill the at-large spots for the Trials, held June 7-13.
After the quarterfinals, Manning found herself in seventh place with a score of 266.52. The semifinals are where she made her move, jumping to fifth at 445.56 where she stayed until the end of the competition. Ignacio held her position the entire meet, posting a score of 198.24 in the quarterfinals, followed by a semifinal total of 343.38. Her score could have been higher had it not been for a failed dive during the quarterfinals.
“For Taryn this shows people that she is ready for the next level,” Jeffrey added. “It was important that she competed at this event, got to the finals and had her face out there. This was a big step in her career.”
In each of her first two years at Florida State, Manning has ended the season with All-America honors on the platform. As a freshman she earned a First-Team selection, while an Honorable Mention accolade followed last year. Earlier in the season she set the school record on the one-meter board with her score of 331.05 against Florida International and Florida A&M on October 18.
Even though she is just a freshman, Ignacio is no stranger to international competition. Last year she competed in two of the biggest events when she took part in the World Championship Trials and the Speedo American Cup. At the World Championships she amassed a total of 353.43 to finish 11th, while the American Cup saw her place sixth with a tally of 265.80, earning her one Olympic Trials point.