MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Mylan Park Aquatic Center is hosting the USA Region 5 Championship throughout Memorial Day weekend. Divers age 16 to 19 from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland were represented in the event. West Virginia did not have any participants since the state does not offer high school diving.
Across the country, there are 12 regions for high school diving. The winning divers from each of the regional categories move onto the next step towards the national stage. Overall, 16 divers will leave Morgantown with that opportunity.
The normal age group for the “junior” division was 16-18. However, due to the pandemic, the event could not be held in 2020. With that in mind, USA diving made the decision to allow 19-year-olds to compete, giving them one last shot at a national title.
“There were a lot of athletes that did not have the opportunity to dive,” said Karla Helder, the diving coach at West Virginia University. “So they expanded what was normally a 16-18 age group to the 19-year-olds, so they had the opportunity to fill out their final year.”
The event was originally meant to be held at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. However, the University could no longer hold the event, so Mylan Park stepped in.