MONTREAL-Former University of Arkansas diver Mandy Moran competes in the three-meter synchronized diving event at the 2005 FINA World Championships this weekend in Montreal.
Moran ended her Lady Razorback career in 2004 with a NCAA Championship runner-up finish on the three-meter springboard while earning four all-America honors.
Arkansas diving coach Scott Reich, who still coaches Moran, said it is a monumental feat to achieve with only the Olympics as a more prestigious competition.
“It’s a huge deal,” Reich said. “It’s the best competition in the world. Just to be a part of the team is a huge honor.”
In her first appearance at the championships, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native is happy about the location of the competition.
“I’m really excited and really nervous because it’s in my home country,” Moran said. “It is by far the biggest meet I’ve ever been to. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience. I would have never dreamed of making it.”
Moran said diving after college is a very new experience that can be daunting but she likes the opportunities and challenges.
“Every meet I’m competing against the best in the world,” she said. “It’s been hard to get used to but it’s awesome to compete against those caliber divers.”
Moran partners with Martha Dale and the pair recorded its best finish when they took fifth at the 2005 Speedo/FINA Diving Grand Prix May 12, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Reich said he believes the duo has a great opportunity to medal at the championships and they have the ability to qualify for the Olympics in 2008.
“They’ve got a chance to do pretty well,” he said. “They’re a new team so that’s probably their only weakness but anything can happen in synchro.”
Results are available at www.montreal2005.org and for more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.