NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- The Whirlwind Diving Team, which is based at the New Canaan YMCA, won the team championship at its first event of the season.
Competing at the Lords of the Boards Autumn Classic in New Jersey, Whirlwind won the team title with 455 points. West Chester Diving of Pennsylvania was second with 437.
The meet featured 17 teams from four states, and Whirlwind took 25 divers to the event. Whirlwind's boys team finished first, and the girls took third.
Three Whirlwind divers debuted in the 9-and-under age group, with great success. All three divers hail from Stamford, and this was their first experience diving at the Junior Olympic level. Diver Shannon Rust finished in first place in both the 1- and 3-meter springboard competitions. Diver Vahram Tchakmakjian finished in second place in both of his events, and Sawyer Neyer came in sixth place on 1M and 5th place in the 3M competition.
In the 12-13 age group, Darien divers Wiley Schmidt and Owen Stevens took first and second places in the 1M competition and first and third places in the 3M. Norwalk diver Kevin Bradley captured sixth place in both of his events. New Canaan divers Anne Farley and Claire Ross added to the medal count by finishing in second and fourth place on the 1M board, and first and third place in the 3M event.
The 14-15 age group yielded more success for the team with Timothy Luz (Darien) taking fourth place on the 1M and first place on the 3M. New Canaan divers Cameron Rhind (6th place on 1M and 4th on 3M), Griffin Edmonds (16th on 1M and 9th on 3M) and Tom Kalinowski (13th on 1M), as well as Weston diver William Simmons (14th place in both events), added to the strength of the boys in this age group. In the girls competition on 1M, Rachel Burston (Stamford) captured fourth place and Katie Kushner (New Canaan) finished in 14th place.
The 16-18 age group for Whirlwind is incredibly deep. Boasting six high school All-American divers, the team continued to acquire medals in this age group. In the 1M boys competition, Sean Burston (Stamford), Jake Bowtell (Darien), Kyle O’Donnel (Darien), Bobby Ross (New Canaan), Steven Kreutch (Darien), and Matthew Mintz (Redding) captured 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 16th places, respectively. On the 3M board Jake Bowtell took first, Sean Burston third, Kyle O’Donnell 10th, and Matthew Mintz finished 14th.
Whirlwind’s 16-18 girls swept the 1M event, with Kylie Towbin (New Canaan), Rachel Burston (Stamford), and Kirsten Parkinson (Stamford) standing on the podium in first, second and third places. Rounding out the competition on 1M for Whirlwind were Katie Kushner (New Canaan) in eighth, Kyla Pech (Darien) 10th, and Olivia Park (New Canaan) 19th. Kylie was a double gold medalist, taking first also on the high board, with Kirsten in third and Olivia finishing 11th.
Whilrwind all be back in action on its home boards on Feb.7-9 at the Annual Whirlwind Winter Weekend Invitational.