It’s Now the Elite Eight
Last year it was the Super Five, but this year it’s the Elite Eight, a list of those divers who put up the best performances in high school diving competition as judged by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) Diving All American Selection Committee.
Each of these 16 divers has been named a High School All American, and they represent the cream of the crop for 2010-11. The full list of All Americans can be found on the NISCA Website.
Changes from Last Year
After much deliberation, NISCA instituted a change in the number of divers that would receive All American status, dropping the number from 130 to 100. This was not specific to diving, but was an across-the-board change that includes swimming.
This number represents an evolving process as the number of high school divers changes and is an effort by NISCA to best choose those athletes that represent the top 1 percent of the divers in the country.
Are They the Best?
Do these eight girls and boys represent the best eight high schools divers in the nation? Possibly. The results are based on the subjective scoring of footage from their state meet, regional, sectional, etc. - not head-to-head competition. If these divers competed against each other in a larger meet, the results might be different, and then again, they might be the same.
Why they vary, or change from year to year, is do to a number of factors such as how competitive their individual meets were, where they competed, and without a doubt, the quality of the DVD that they submitted.
Diving's Elite Eight
This idea for the Elite Eight, which started as the Super Five, came about as a result of a similar selection of the top prep basketball players. And since divers desperately need, and should receive more publicity than they currently get, the idea of the Super Five / Elite Eight was born. For more information and background on the selections, read about the selection from 2009.
Why eight? Because this group separated themselves from the other 92 divers through the quality of their performance and also lent itself to a catchy phrase!
The Selection Process
All divers submitting applications for high school All American are judged by an independent panel of diving coaches selected by NISCA, and are scored just as they would be in any diving meet, except that it is in front of a large screen television instead of on the pool deck during a competition.
From these scores the top 100 boys and 100 girls are named All American. The top-ten or so divers are scored again producing a mythical high school champion, and a ranking from which these top-eight were drawn.
The Elite Eight for this year contains only two repeat divers from last year – Kristian Ipsen and Connor Kuremsky, and two new national champions, Kelly Markle and Zhipeng Zeng.
The list contains seven seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and one freshman. Eight states (how appropriate) are represented, led by Texas with six divers, Indiana and California with two each, and one apiece for Michigan, Kentucky, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
While several divers from last year dropped off the list, it certainly does not mean that they are less deserving, but just that the particular performance from the competition that was submitted did not rank in the top-eight, which are listed below in alphabetical order with the national champion duly noted.
So without further adieu … The Elite Eight for 2010-2011!
Girls Elite Eight
- Zoe Alaniz – Sophomore (Corpus Christi High School/Corpus Christi, Texas)
- Mary Beth Dunnichay – Junior (Elwood High School/Elwood, Ind.)
- Taylor Ford – Senior (Saline High School/Saline, Mich.)
- Rebecca Hamperian – Junior (Lafayette High School/Lexington, Ky.)
- Jenna Karrow – Sophomore (East Ridge High School/Woodbury, Minn.)
- Kelly Markle – Junior (Woodlands High School/Woodlands, Texas)**
- Kendall McClenney - Junior (Woodlands High School/Woodlands, Texas)
- Kara McCormack – Senior (Johnson High School/Austin, Texas)
Boys Elite Eight
- Roberto Ebersole – Senior (Grapvine High School/Grapevine, Texas)
- Stephen Ettienne – Senior (Sacred Heart High School/Waterbury, Conn.)
- Kristian Ipsen - Senior (De La Salle High School/Clayton, Calif.)
- Bryce Klein – Sophomore (Southlake-Carroll High School/Southlake, Texas)
- Connor Kuremsky - Senior (North Allegheny High School/Wexford, Pa.)
- Michael Mosca – Senior (Georgetown Prep/Bethesda, Md.)
- Layne Rogers – Junior (Harrison High School/West Lafayette, Ind.)
- Zhipeng Zeng – Freshman (The Kings Academy/Sunnyvale, Calif.)**
**High School National Champion