July 28, 2005
MOULTRIE, Ga. –
Picking up where they left off during the season, one current and one former Florida State University divers were dominate at the 2005 US Senior National Zone Championships at the Moose Moss Aquatic Center. Junior Brittany Lerew punched her ticket for the national meet with a victory on the three-meter, while former Seminole Courtney McClow took the one-meter crown.
The next stop for the duo is the 2005 Speedo National Diving Championships, August 9-13 at Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics in Huntersville, N.C. Lerew’s (Orlando, Fla.) first day of competition will be August 10 during the preliminary round of the thee-meter, while McClow will dive in the prelims of the platform (August 9) and then the one-meter (August 11).
“Winning the qualifying meet decisively is a big shot in the arm for them,” FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “This shows that they are some of the best qualifiers and they’ve got a good chance to break into the finals at nationals. The next step for them is be pre-qualified for the meet next year and be considered for the national team.”
On the second day of the competition, Lerew found herself in third-place after the prelims of the three-meter with a tally of 243.00, nine points behind frontrunner McClow. But the ACC Champion on the three-meter had the best performance in the finals, tallying a final score of 454.35 for the victory.
“I’m very proud of Brittany,” Jeffrey added. “She stepped up after a rough stretch following the end of our season. She’s very competitive and that comes through when it really counts. Getting to nationals for the first time at the senior level is in line with qualifying for the NCAAs. This is going to be a shot in the arm for her and let’s her know that making it to the NCAA Championships is out there for her.”
While McClow already secured a spot at the national meet on the platform, the Jacksonville, Fla., native wanted another chance to perform. She overcame an 11-point deficit to Auburn’s Ashley Rubenstein – a member of Team USA for the World University Games – to win the one-meter final by five points with a tally of 471.45. On the final day of competition, McClow took third on the platform at 395.70.
“Our goal with Courtney is to get her to the international level and this puts her one step closer,” Jeffrey noted. “She learned harder dives on the platform and she’s going to be right there in the mix; she has to show up and put it all together at nationals. She performs better each time we go back to the national level and we’re looking for her to go a step farther this time.”
Last season McClow earned Honorable Mention All-America honors at the NCAA meet on the one-meter and platform. It was the fourth year in a row an FSU diver has earned national accolades and the eight and ninth awards won on the women’s side during Jeffrey’s six-year tenure. With Lerew’s three-meter title, the women have won nine ACC crowns under Jeffrey with a total of 16 from both men and women.