Arts & Entertainment

Lee Graham’s Divers Humbled by Competition




Lee Graham sent three of its best divers to the 2008 Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL) All-Star Dive Meet at Dunn Loring Pool on Sunday to compete for the title All-Star Champion, one of the highest individual honors for an NVSL diver.swimming-TuckerSmith2.jpg

Unfortunately, Lee Graham will not have a champion for the 11th consecutive year. A Dolphin diver has not been crowned All-Star Champion since a four-year winning streak. Timmy McNeill earned the honor in 1993 before Stephanie Sutton won three consecutive titles as a senior from 1994 to 1996.

Tucker Smith, a freshman and rising star in the program, placed higher than any other Dolphin with an eighth place finish. Earning an overall score of 55.89, Smith beat out sixteen other divers in his age bracket.

Ray Curry has been the heart and soul of the Lee Graham Dive Team for years, and was finally honored as an all-star in his final season with the team. Curry capped off his fine career with Lee Graham with ninth place out of 19 senior All-Stars. Curry’s 139.47 clip ranked him 25th overall out of the 169 all-star competitors.

“Raymond is a first time all-star diver, and as a graduating senior he should be very happy with the outcome,” noted assistant coach and fellow teammate Rachel Hassan. “There are many outstanding divers who practice twelve months a year, and Ray definitely fits in with the best of them.”

Lee Graham’s only all-star on the girls side was junior Elena Bavolack. Like Smith and Curry, Bavolack finished in the middle of the pack, an impressive feat for the level of competition. She posted an overall score of 83.82, earning the 12th spot among 22 other girls in her age bracket.

While divers from undefeated Division I champion Truro and D-I powerhouse Vienna Woods stole the show, there is no doubt Lee Graham came out of the All-Star Meet with things to be happy about. All three Dolphins had better scores than at least ten other divers in their age group, and more importantly, not once did any Lee Graham all-star finish behind a diver from Pinecrest, the reigning Division II champion.

Like the swim team, the Lee Graham dive program seems to be on the rise. Two of their five meets resulted in ties, but because they were outstanding in the overall points category, the team finished second in Division II behind Pinecrest. With bright youngsters like Smith and Bavolack returning for years to come, Lee Graham is sure to contend for Division II and maybe even Division I titles in the near future.