Georgia Tech diver Shannon Lumbra appreciates that the ACC swimming and diving championship will be held at Tech’s Aquatic Center for one particular reason. She doesn’t have to figure out which boards she’ll dive from in competition.
Diving boards may look and feel identical to the lay person, but not to an expert practitioner like Lumbra, who holds the school record on the one-meter board. At Tech’s diving well, she prefers the one-meter board closest to the competition pool and the three-meter board nearest the platform towers.
“Some of them are definitely tighter than others,” Lumbra said. “A lot of the times, it depends on how new the board is and then what setting you put it on, it might feel a little different the way that it’s all broken in.”
Like baseball gloves, putters and, famously, footballs, diving boards are also a matter of feel.
“It just depends on which one you can ride the best,” Lumbra said. “Just on our team, we have seven people and we use all three of the three-meters and two different one-meters.”
Having the meet at Tech, last held there in 2011, will save her from having to try out the different boards to find one that, in her words, “you kind of like vibe with.”
Tech almost certainly won’t win either the women’s or men’s meets, which begin Wednesday and next Wednesday, respectively, running through Saturday. (Admission is free. There are morning and evening sessions. For more information, visit the ACC website. It will also be broadcast online on ESPN3.)
The Virginia women’s team has won the past seven ACC titles. The Tech women finished 10th last year. The Tech men placed seventh last year, behind champion Virginia Tech.
“We set a goal early on in the season to get top six,” Lumbra said. “We just really want to move up, do better.”
Lumbra’s personal goal is a top-three finish on the 1- or 3-meter board or platform. Lumbra, a business major and a two-time member of the academic All-ACC team, finished seventh last year on the 1-meter board. She kindly requests everyone steer clear of her boards.
“If everyone comes to my board, I’m like, Ugh, I’m not going to get through my warmup,” she said. “I’d rather everyone hate my board because I know I like my board.”