MOULTRIE – This 2019 diving season is already getting serious for Moss Farms Diving Tigers. One young diver, after moving a major step upward in 2018, is taking on new experiences in new lands.
Those attending these meets are finding out who Ruth Anne McCranie is.
McCranie, in 2018, was selected for the USA Diving High Performance squad, and her coach John Fox said that came with a number of opportunities. On April 25-28 she went to the International Youth meet in Dresden, Germany, as a member of Team USA. This is just below the Junior World Championships in terms of athlete participation, and it was her first time competing in Europe.
“I do expect there will be more (opportunities),” said Fox. “She walked in there and didn’t shy away at all. She did a really good job. Oftentimes when somebody goes to the international level for the first time, they will kind of shy away and feel like they don’t belong. She did well all things considered. She took top 25 on all the boards she competed.
“Unfortunately, she only got to compete 1-meter and platform. There were other girls who traveled with USA Diving who were competing 3-meter. 3-meter is her better board. She had to compete on the two boards that are not her favorite. She excelled at them, but she’s a better 3-meter diver. She still held her own. She now knows what it takes to compete at the international level, which is ultimately a huge goal of hers. I think she thrives in that kind of environment. Her eyes light up when she’s in there.”
That was April. Within the past week, McCranie was a part of the 2019 USA Diving Senior National Championships in Indianapolis alongside a few others with Diving Tiger connections. Fox said she qualified by being on Tier 3 of the High Performance squad. McCranie did the 3-meter synchronized springboard with Lilly Witte of Legacy Diving. They placed eighth in the finals with a score of 201.48 after coming in sixth in the preliminaries (216.57).
McCranie is in the 14-15 age group, also called Group B, and Fox said in the synchro event the pair dove mostly against Group A women who are in college.
On Friday, McCranie was in the 3-meter senior women’s event coming in 27th in the preliminary.
“Last year, she was in Group C,” said Fox. “12-13 girls. Now she’s aged up to 14-15. She will be in her first year of Group B. My expectation is she will be very competitive (the rest of the season).”
Other divers in Indianapolis were current collegians Maggie Merriman (Purdue), Parker Hardigree (SMU) and Chase Lane (Kentucky). All three first went to the USA Senior National qualifier May 16-17.
At the qualifier, Hardigree placed ninth in the 3-meter springboard. He went on to the National Championships and placed 20th in the 3-meter preliminary held Thursday.
Lane won the senior men’s platform at the qualifier with a score of 386.8. At Nationals, he was eighth in the preliminary for platform and ninth in the semifinals. Both were held Friday.
Merriman also just dove platform at the qualifier and placed sixth at 217.75. At Nationals, she was 12th in the preliminary and 13th in the semifinals Thursday.