Winter Nationals Team Pic

Nadadores Preparing for Winter Nationals

Moving into the holiday season the Mission Viejo Nadadores Diving Team is preparing for a couple big upcoming competitions. The first of which is the 2023 USA Diving Winter Nationals, hosted at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. The Nadadores will be bringing 13 athletes including Anna Lemkin, Avery Giese, Taylor Fox, Caroline Roelen, Ennika Carlson, Zoe Quigley, Carolina Sculti, Grayson Campbell, Zach Welsh, Jake Welsh, Jackson Lipscomb, Nolan Rooker, and Grant Schneider. Grayson Campbell is the oldest Nadador attending the event at 25 years old, and Zoe Quigley is the Nadador’s youngest athlete at 14 years old. While Sculti and Campbell are veterans to the USAD Senior Nationals scene, this will be the first USAD Senior Nationals for Lipscomb, Rooker, Schneider, Carlson, Roelen, and Quigley. 

With over 200 divers attending this year’s Winter Nationals, this competition serves as the USA’s qualification event selecting the top athletes to compete in the 2024 World Aquatics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in February. This is also the penultimate event to achieve Olympic Trials score cuts for USA divers, with a last chance meet being hosted in Indianapolis in April. 

Head Coach and High Performance Director, John Appleman, is looking forward to this opportunity as a great experience for the athletes, and a chance to qualify for the 2024 USA Diving Olympic Trials, which will also be hosted at the same venue in Knoxville. “We’re excited to get the kids out there for their first big competition of the season. It’s a great test to see where we’re at before winter break, and will get us focused and retooled as we move into the new year,” Appleman said. Many of the divers already have Olympic Trials qualifying score cuts, but a few still have to earn their way into different events. For example, the Welsh brothers are already qualified for the 3m synchronized event, but are working towards their individual trials cuts. 

Lauren Thiel-Lopez, “Coach Lo,” will be joining for the first few days of the 10 day long competition, and says the prep into this event has been going well and has really been focusing on their mental performance. Lo said, “We’ve been working hard on the athletes’ mindset and ability to stay in the moment leading into this competition, and this will be a great opportunity for them to practice their cognitive skills leading into the 2024 season and Olympic Trials.” Lo will head back home to Mission Viejo mid week in order to get the remaining Nadadores ready for their next big event, the 2023 Chris Vonk Invitational.