Dante Jones helped fuel a strong summer for Missouri divers.
Sept. 21, 2010
Columbia, Mo. -
An off-season of success has Mizzou’s Swimming and Diving program anxiously awaiting the start of the 2010-11 campaign under the direction of first year head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh. While Rhodenbaugh’s arrival has reenergized the Missouri program, it’s been the combination of incoming and returning diving standouts that has fueled Mizzou’s excitement for the start of competition next month.
The success began early with the Synchro Trials in April. Incoming freshman David Bonuchi and former Tiger Greg DeStephen placed second at the 2010 USA Synchronized Diving Selection Camp. That was just the start of a busy summer for the pair, as the second-place finish qualified them for the Canada Cup in May, where they finished 11th in the world, beating out several former Olympian tandems.
In July the Missouri Diving Club (M.D.C) placed first at the Senior Zone C Championships. Of the five competed events M.D.C. enjoyed three first-place and four second-place performances and even topped the U.S. Diving National Training Center in the overall team standings.
The U.S. Junior National Championships saw a pair of future Tigers shine as Bonuchi and fellow incoming freshman Loren Figueroa claimed gold. Bonuchi won the gold on the 10 meter platform and earned the silver in the 1 meter springboard. The national title was Bonuchi’s fourth of his young career. Figueroa won gold in the 3 meter Synchronized diving event, marking her third national crown. Figueroa comes to Columbia from the Houston area and she’ll be a freshman diver this fall. In addition, the finishes by the pair automatically qualified them for the 2010 Junior World Championships, placing them on the U.S. National Team.
While in Tucson, Ariz., at the Junior Worlds Bonuchi faired well. He finished eighth in the world on the 1 meter springboard and fifth overall on the 10 meter platform. Not to be outdone, Figueroa paired with another Texas native, Kassidy Cook, to finish second in the 3 meter Synchronized and both Bonuchi and Figueroa helped Team USA to a second place overall finish.
The U.S. Senior Nationals saw Tiger veteran Dante Jones place fourth in the country on both the 1 meter and 10 meter events. Jones shattered his career-best scoring mark on the platform by 45 points en route to the top-tier showing and former Tiger Greg DeStephen finished fifth overall on the 3 meter with a new personal best score. Overall the Missouri Diving Club finished #2 nationally at the Championships.
Missouri Swimming and Diving opens its season on Oct. 1 with the Black & Gold Intra-squad. The regular-season begins just one day later with the Show-Me Showdown at the Mizzou Aquatics Center.
For more information on Missouri Swimming and Diving, please visit our website at mutigers.com.
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