Long Beach Divers Perform Well

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In the last ten years, the Glenn McCormick Memorial Invitational Dive Meet (GMMI) has been the Southern California welcome to the new diving season every November. Over the years, divers have traveled to Long Beach from as far as Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Texas. This Long Beach classic honors Olympic and World Games coach, Glenn McCormick who founded the team upon the opening of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in 1968.  This year’s GMMI was moved to Mission Viejo because of the Belmont Plaza Pool closure.

Even with the venue change, the 2013 GMMI once again ushered in the new dive season with some tremendous performances by Long Beach divers. A number of McCormick Divers performed well including Long Beach native Jenna Sonnenberg. The eleven year old who wowed the Long Beach Century Club last month with her impassioned talk about the importance of including a competition ready diving tower in the new facility, won all three of her events. Sonnenberg won the 1 meter and 3 meter springboard events along with the 5-meter girls 11 and under platform event. Her top score of the meet was on the 5-meter platform despite limited platform practice time since the close of the Belmont Plaza Pool. Sonnenberg earned 49 points on her inward somersault in tuck position.

Fellow Long Beach native, Jake Butler won Silver in the Group C 12/13 Year Old Boys 3-meter competition. Annie Bliss won Bronze in the Group C 12/13 Year Old Girls 3-Meter Springboard event. McCormick Divers did well in the open events with Dolly Payne winning silver in the 3-meter springboard and bronze in the women’s open 1-meter springboard event. New diver, Rae Adams finished 3rd and Emma Warner finished 4th in the Women’s Open 3-meter Springboard event.

A number of newer divers won medals in the Novice level competition in one of the first ever dive meets for some. Gold Medal winners include Elaine Nasser in the 11&Under Novice Girls 1-meter springboard, Brooke Smith in the 11&Under 3-meter springboard, Alex Conley in the 11&Under Boys 1-meter springboard, Emmet Foster in the 11&Under Boys 3-meter springboard and Bryan Shahbani earned gold in the 12/13 Year Old Novice Boys 1-meter competition. Silver medal winners include Exavier Orlino on the 12/13 Boys 1-meter, Sara King on the 12/13 Girls 1-meter, Anna Coomans in the 12/13 girls 3-meter, her sister Drew Comans in the 11&Under Girls 3-meter, Carly Yasko in the 11&Under Girls 3-meter springboard and Jennifer Robbins in the 1-meter 9&Under Novice girls. Emmet Foster won bronze in the 11&Under Boys 1-meter competition.

As always, the event was opened with the National Anthem sung by LA Opera’s Chris Beck who is a former McCormick Diver. McCormick Divers received kudos from guests on another successful GMMI. McCormick Divers owner, Debby McCormick was deeply encouraged by the number of teams that said they were anxiously await returning for the meet when it is back in Long Beach to enjoying the beach, 2nd street and downtown Long Beach between events.

The team, coached by owner Debby McCormick and head coach, Charly Collins, currently trains on 1 and 3-meter springboard at the M.L. King Pool in Long Beach. They also travel weekly to alternative facilities for platform training and to learn new dives with the over water training rig and water softening bubbles.

For further information see the www.mccormickdivers.com .

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