March 14, 2004
ATHENS, GA. –
Going into the NCAA Diving Zone “B” Qualifying Meet, Florida State University diving coach Patrick Jeffrey knew the best chance the women would have to advance would come on the third day during the platform competition. His premonition held true as Tiffany Manning won the tower event and Taryn Ignacio placed second, qualifying both Seminoles for next week’s NCAA Championships.
After Saturday’s three-meter event, Manning (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was already assured a spot when she finished eighth, but the junior put an exclamation point on the meet by winning the platform with a score of 416.50. Her closest competitor turned out to be her teammate as the freshman Ignacio (Richmond, Ky.) scored a 407.10 to put her nine points back in second. Rounding out the FSU competitors on the platform was junior Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) as she placed 12th with a total of 342.55.
This is the third year in a row that Florida State will send at least one female diver to the national summit. Manning has represented the Garnet and Gold each of the last two years with a pair of All-America honors on the platform. For the second time in the last three years under Jeffrey, the Seminoles will have two representatives on the boards. During the 2002 campaign, both Manning and Chelsie Lerew earned All-America status.
At next week’s NCAA Championships, March 18-20 at Texas A&M, Manning will compete on both the one and three-meter boards as well as the platform. By virtue of her performance on the tower, Ignacio will get to compete on the three-meter board as well. Any diver qualifying for the NCAA meet came compete in any of the other two events as long as they dove during the Zone meet.
The addition of the two divers over the weekend ups Florida State’s representation to seven student-athletes at the national summit, tying the Seminoles with North Carolina for second amongst Atlantic Coast Conference schools and one behind Virginia. FSU is the only league school with diving representation at the NCAA meet.
Joining Manning and Ignacio on the deck in College Station, Texas, will be seniors Emma Dutton (Bradford, England) and Rachel Dong (Paramount, Calif.), juniors Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) and Lisa How (Preston, England), as well as rookie Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.). Ignacio and Brick are the first freshmen since Manning in 2002 to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships.