Diving added as varsity sport

After several seasons of competing without it, the BG athletics department will add diving as a sport to pair with the swimming program.

Athletic Director Chris Kingston confirmed the addition of the varsity sport in a press release Wednesday.

For several seasons the swimming team would have to compete without a diving team, leading to the majority of lost meets. Visiting or competing teams would score points in the area while BG would take zero.

“Head coach Petra Martin has developed a championship caliber program and deserves the resources necessary for reaching our goal of winning a MAC Championship,” Kingston said in the release.

Despite the setbacks, the BG swim team was one of the strongest programs in the MAC. The team finished third in the MAC Championships this past season and has had swimmers compete nationally in Olympic trials. The Falcons were producing strong individual performances but lacked the overall team points to strive for more.

“We have been the only school in the conference without a diving program and we can’t wait to see what we can do with this fantastic addition,” Martin said.

BG swimmer Daniela Carrillo became the first to qualify for the NCAA championships since 1996. Swimmer Alexa Harris earned first-team all MAC honors and five other swimmers were named to the second-team All MAC.

“Petra [Martin] is a results-oriented leader who demands excellence in the classroom as well as the pool,” Kingston said. “We are pleased to have divers join the young ladies who currently swim for Falcon Athletics and look forward to their future achievements at both the MAC and NCAA Championships.

Martin was named the 2013 MAC coach of the year with the team’s third place finish. In 2012 the Falcons took eighth place, and hadn’t finished as high as third since 2004.

It was unlikely the team would rank much higher without a diving squad.

“We are extremely excited to bring a full-time diving program on board,” Martin said in the release. “Our team has been improving rapidly and having a strong diving program is crucial for our success in the MAC and on the national level.”

The Falcon’s first meet of the year will be Oct. 4 at the annual Tom Stubbs Relays, but the team will compete against each other in the Orange vs. Brown meet Sept. 25.