Moss Farms to play host to Zone Championships (updated)

May 26—MOULTRIE — As many as 200 young divers, including 25 from Moss Farms, will compete in USA Diving's Zone B Championships to be held June 6-9 at the Moose Moss Aquatic Center.

Divers will be vying for berths in the Junior National Championships that will be held July 29-August 7 in Morgantown, W.Va.

The top 10 finishers on the two springboard events, plus any pre-qualifiers, will advance to Junior Nationals.

The top seven, plus pre-qualifiers, on platform also will head to Morgantown.

Those who will compete in Moultrie advanced at the Region 3 championships held in Athens or the Region 4 championships contested in Dallas, Texas.

Among the 25 Moss Farms divers at the Zone meet will be Elizabeth Ann Hobby, who won the 16-18 girls platform event at May 9-12 YMCA Nationals in Fort Lauderdale to secure a spot at Junior Nationals.

She also was eighth on 3-meter and 12th on 1-meter at Fort Lauderdale.

Hobby was 10th and Maggie Strange 14th on 3-meter in 16-18 girls at the Region championships, earning berths at the Zone meet.

Jewel Hart, also in 16-18 girls, qualified for the Zone meet by placing 11th on 1-meter in Athens. She also qualified on 3-meter.

In addition to Hobby, Austin Leigh Taylor and Beck Gregory won events at YMCA Nationals and earned berths at Junior Nationals.

Taylor, in 14-15 girls, won on 1-meter and platform, and Gregory, in 12-13 boys, took first place on both springboards and on platform.

ElliReese Niday also swept all three events at YMCA Nationals, but had already qualified for Junior Nationals.

Also representing Moss Farms at the Zone meet will be Bo Bridges, Tuck Gregory, Trip Gregory, Amelia Gregory, Zechariah Ledl, Judson Taylor, Kendall Deloach, Ruby Demott, Logan Griffin, Landon Thomas, Quade Thomas, Steele Weeks, Summer Winchester, Luke Hutto, John Parker Harrison, Will Tyson, Ansley Lane, Nora Kate Taylor and Hunt Murphy.

The Moss Farms divers are led by Tom Gimm, head coach and director of diving operations; Eugene Karaliou, assistant head coach; and Parker Hardigree, Junior Olympic coach.

Gimm said he expects the Diving Tigers to perform well in their home pool.

"I think we have a chance to take a pretty good team to Nationals," he said.

And competing in their home pool won't hurt their chances at the Zone meet.

"It's like having a home-field advantage in football," he said.

The Zone meet in Moultrie will be one of six that will determine who will compete in 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events at Junior Nationals.

Other Zone meets will be held held in Christiansburg, Va.; Louisville, Ky.; Madison, Wisconsin; Novato, Calif.; and Mission Viejo, Calif.

Out-of-town divers are expected to begin arriving in Moultrie on Tuesday, June 4, for the first of two practice days.

Competition will begin on Thursday, June 6.

Admission is $10 per day.