Sunny Claremont was represented in frosty Grinnell, Iowa, as the Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps diving teams were represented in the NCAA Division III Regionals Feb. 26 and 27. While the students of the Claremont Colleges don flip-flops and bundle up when the temperature drops below 70˚F, Carli Lessard HM '17 and Patrick Quarberg CM '18 from CMS and Dawn Barlow PZ '16 from P-P braved the 30˚F weather to finish their outstanding seasons at the national meet.
Braced for action on day one, Quarberg finished third in the men’s 300-meter event (443.45), with a difficulty degree of 25.30. Quarberg also earned fourth the next day in the one-meter boards with a score of 420.080 and a 22.95 degree of difficulty. Quarberg just narrowly missed second place by a close 13-point margin; without a doubt, the CMC sophomore made his team proud as they cheered on their diver from afar.
California native Lessard also came prepared to compete for CMS: On day one, Lessard placed 11th in the one-meter event with a score of 369.10 and a ranking of 22.20 in difficulty. This brilliant Athena would not relent throughout the weekend and took fifth place in the women’s three-meter dive, scoring 420.05 with 24.20 degrees of difficulty on day two. Lessard exhibited the strength and poise of a true Athena, and will return next year and serve as a competitive threat in her final season with the Athenas.
For Barlow, this moment was a long time coming. As a senior, Barlow has felt the tantalizing effects of the NCAA Regionals. She narrowly missed it her sophomore year but was able to qualify her junior year. Unfortunately, due to injury, she was unable to attend and showcase her skills. Like a true and dedicated athlete, she never gave up and was able to make the trip to Grinnell for the competition.
Earilier this season, Barlow set the Pomona-Pitzer one-meter diving record with a score of 432.95. Barlow was also able to take third place in the SCIAC Championships, leading the Sagehens to a perfect 10-0 SCIAC record. The Sagehen placed 14th in the one-meter dive with a score of 345.00 and a degree of difficulty of 19.90.
Barlow remembers her seasons as more than just the locations of meets and scores. Although this was her last season as a college athlete, she has forged a unique kinship with her teammates that will never be broken. She can still remember “what it felt like to stand on the board and look over to see all the swimmers cheering me on and shouting 'TEN!' after I dive, and to stand behind the lanes for my friends’ races and scream for them.”
In Barlow’s four years with the P-P team, swimming and diving has created a family, as swimmers and divers stand together in wet parkas. Over the seasons, nothing has felt better for the diver than hearing the “yelling cheers” of her supportive teammates and establishing a family.