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Goldstein splashes into Nationals

Daniel Goldstein ’16 punches a ticket to the Nationals with a dive on Friday, Feb. 27. Photo by John Brady.

After competing in NCAA Division III Diving Regionals last weekend, Daniel Goldstein ’16 secured a bid to compete at this year’s National Swimming and Diving Championships in the three-meter dive. Goldstein, who received a score of 462.15 and finished second at Regionals, will be the first male diver to go to Nationals for Grinnell since 2004.

“It felt good,” Goldstein said. “It was a lot of work. This year, I felt really good to get second on the first day because I was guaranteed to go to Nationals.”

Goldstein also finished sixth in the men’s one-meter dive. Teammate Tiffany Nguyen ’16 qualified for Regionals from her performance at the Midwest Conference Championships, as well. She placed 11th in the women’s three-meter and 12th in one-meter dives.

“It was amazing as a coach to have two divers qualify throughout the season for the national qualifier,” wrote diving coach Deidre Freeman in an email to the S&B. “I’m so proud of them for persevering and performing so well under pressure.”

Daniel Goldstein ’16 punches a ticket to the Nationals with a dive on Friday, Feb. 27. Photo by John Brady.
Daniel Goldstein ’16 punches a ticket to the Nationals with a dive on Friday, Feb. 27. Photo by John Brady.

Goldstein, who clean swept the two diving events at Conference and was named the Midwest Conference Men’s Diver of the Year, will travel to Indianapolis and compete among the best divers in Division III from March 19 to 22. Teammate Michael Brus ’14, who also qualified to compete in the Nationals, will accompany him on the trip.

“I think it’ll be really fun to travel with Michael and [head coach] Erin [Hurley],” Goldstein said. “I’m hoping to score points for Grinnell and hopefully we’ll move up a place from last year.”

In preparation for Nationals, Goldstein will especially work on tougher dives, even though he may not use them in the actual competition. Practicing more difficult dives will allow him to perform the easier dives more routinely and simply.

“Daniel has been working on the take-offs of his dives and consistency in general,” Freeman wrote. “He has been succeeding, and he’s figured out how to enter the water much more cleanly.”

Despite suffering from an injury, Nguyen also excelled and exceeded expectations at last weekend’s Regionals. Qualifying for Regionals and advancing this far into the competition for the first time, she has a meaningful experience to build on in her collegiate diving career.

“It was really exciting because last year I missed the cut by seven points,” she said. “I have never competed against a group of people who were all at least at a certain level, so having the opportunity to do so was pretty neat.”

Nguyen believes this season’s overall experience will only help her and the team’s future.

“The swim and dive team did fantastically this year and [was] a lot of fun to be with,” she said. “Our new and old divers learned a lot of dives and I’m very proud of all of them.”

After starting this season with more than 60 swimmers and divers ready to make a splash, only two Pioneers’ seasons are still continuing. They will look to represent Grinnell in the highest level of competition, a rare and envious experience for any athlete.

“My goal for Daniel at nationals is to embrace the experience because only a handful of people ever get to compete at that level,” Freeman wrote. “Obviously, he is a great diver, so I’m not worried about his performance … If he’s having fun and enjoying the experience, he will perform well. I’m so proud of how far he’s come and I’m confident that he will represent Grinnell with pride, alongside teammate Michael Brus at nationals.”

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