Four divers from Southampton Diving Academy travelled to Edinburgh at the weekend to compete at the Scottish National Diving Championships with their Olympic Coach, Lindsey Fraser.
Gemma McArthur, aged 16yrs, came home with a haul of medals which included 5 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal. Gemma who represents Scotland as an international diver won the titles in both Scottish Junior and senior 1m springboard and Platform events.
On day one it was the women’s platform preliminary round where the Scottish titles were awarded from and the finals later in the afternoon were open to all the divers. Southampton Diving Academy saw all their divers finishing in the top three places. Gemma finished with a personal best of 280.75 having scored 64.40 points on her reverse two and a half somersaults which was a new diver for her. Sarah White, aged 17yrs, finished in second with a score of 260.05 also having performed new reverse two and a half somersaults well with a score of 61.60. Lauren Grinstead, aged 20 yrs, finished on 224.75 after competing the hardest dive which is only usually performed by the men, this was a back armstand with two somersaults with two and a half twists from the 10 metre.
After the women’s platform it was time for Brandon Foster aged 13yrs to compete in the men’s platform preliminary event. This was the first time that Brandon had competed against divers in a senior event but this did not worry him as he secured his place in the finals with a score of 271.90 after finishing the prelims in third place. Brandon performed a front two and a half somersault from the 7.5m platform which the judges awarded him 8’s for. Brandon was competing against the Scottish Commonwealth Diver James Heatly who finished the prelims in first place.
The women’s senior open finals was won by Lauren with a score of 272 after seeing her complete all five dives consistently well from 10 metres. Gemma finished women’s senior in second place on 258.50 after completing a full five dive senior list from 10 metres but won gold for the open juniors. Sarah just missed out on the medals by finishing in fourth place after dropping her reverse two and a half somersaults which she had previously performed so well in the prelim round.
In the men’s platform finals Brandon continued to dive all six of his dives consistently well which rewarded him with a Bronze medal. Brandon was delighted to be standing on the podium with a Commonwealth diver.
Day two saw the springboard events. Gemma won the 1m Scottish Junior and Senior title as she finished the highest ranked Scottish athlete having finished 4th the preliminary round overall. Team mate Sarah White finished in 5th but had to withdraw from the finals due to injury. Gemma then went onto pick up a Bronze medal in the open juniors.
Brandon competed in the 3m springboard preliminary event which this time saw him competing alongside two commonwealth divers, Scotland’s diver James Heatly and Englands diver Freddie Woodward. Brandon just missed the finals by one place but enjoyed his time in Scotland.
The divers coach Lindsey Fraser commented, “It was lovely to be in Edinburgh and see the divers do so well. The Scottish hospitality was great!”