Moultrie to play host to Moose Moss Invitational, Zone meet

Jan. 14—MOULTRIE — Colquitt County sports fans are expected to have two opportunities to watch the Moss Farms Diving Tigers, and their talented ElliReese Niday, perform this year.

The first will come when the local club plays host to its annual Moose Moss Invitational on the first weekend in March.

Then, on June 7-9, the Moose Moss Aquatic Center will be the site of USA Diving's Zone B meet, where competitors will vie for berths in the 2024 Junior National Diving Championships.

Junior Nationals will be held this year July 29-Aug. 7 in Morgantown, W.Va.

Among the Diving Tigers setting their sights on the trip to West Virginia will be Niday, the 11-year-old who already has seven national championships to her credit.

Last July, she swept the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform championships at the Junior Nationals held in Mission Viejo, California.

That sweep marked the second year in a row she had won on all three boards at Nationals. She also swept in Midland, Texas, in 2022.

And she had served notice in 2021 when, as a 9-year-old, she won the 11-and-under platform event in Indianapolis.

Last year was particularly remarkable for the young diver, who is the daughter of Lauryn McCalley Niday, a former Diving Tiger national champion, five-time All-American at Tennessee and member of the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame.

Not only did the younger Niday sweep all three boards at Nationals, she also swept at the Region 3 and Zone championships.

In August, she represented the U.S. at the Pan Am Junior Diving Championship in Lima, Peru, and earned gold medals on all three boards.

And in December, she competed in the senior women's 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events as the youngest contestant in USA Diving's Winter Nationals.

Niday and her Moss Farms Diving teammates will begin the drive to the Junior Nationals by competing in the Orlando All-Star Invitational, to be held Feb. 2-4, at the Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center in Orlando.

Four weeks later, divers from around the Southeast will converge on Moultrie for the Moose Moss Invitational.

On March 13-17, the Diving Tigers will be in Huntersville, N.C., for the Carolina Big Dive Invitational.

Next, coaches Tom Gimm and Parker Hardigree will take their team to Athens, Ga., for the May 3-5, Region 3 championships to be held at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the University of Georgia campus.

The next week, Moss Farms will go to the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Aquatic Center for the YMCA National Diving Championships.

Y Nationals are especially attractive because event winners earn automatic berths in the preliminary round of the Junior National Championships.

The June 7-9 Zone competition will bring some of the nation's top divers to Moultrie.

"It's one of the most competitive meets," Gimm said. "For our kids, it will be nice to be able to dive on their home boards."

The US Olympic Team Trials will begin on June 16, at the University of Tennessee.

The summer Olympics will be held in July 26-August 11, in Paris, France.

Moss Farms was represented at the 2021 Olympic Trials by Carson Tyler, who now dives at Indiana University.

Tyler recently teamed with Joshua Hedberg to win the 10-meter synchro competition at last month's Winter Nationals.

The win qualifies Tyler and Hedberg for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships to be held in February in Doha, Qatar.