MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONS

Rider Grad at World Championships July 19
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information  
Release:  05/21/2013

Amanda Burke and Sam Pickens
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Rider Grad Burke Competing at World Championships

Placed First in 3m Synchro

BARCELONA, SPAIN—Amanda Burke ’10 will be competing in the 2013 World Diving Championships in Barcelona, Spain later this month.

Burke qualified for the 15th FINA World Championships by placing first in the three meter Synchronized Springboard at the USA Diving FINA World Championship Trials in Tallahassee, Florida in May.

Burke and partner Samantha Pickens totaled 599.55 to qualify as the women’s synchro team. They were just under a point behind the qualifying standard heading into finals.

"I feel I am prepared for it," said Burke, a member of the U.S. Olympic Performance Squad.

"(At the World Trials) Once we hit our vols, we knew that everything was going to fall into place," Burke said. "We made up some points on our first few dives, and I knew our optionals were going to be awesome.  II feel like we’re growing together as a team and as individuals. She (Pickens) helps me out with my diving and I help her out with competing, so it’s definitely exciting.”

“I'm very happy for Amanda that she sees such rewards for her incredible investment of time and energy in to training,” said Rider head swimming & diving coach Steve Fletcher. “ We're proud of Amanda and how she represents the program, and all of our alumni and coaches will be backing her in Barcelona this Summer.”

Burke currently trains in Virginia with former Rider diving coach Dennis Ceppa at the Mason Diving Academy.  “As usual Amanda continues to amaze and surprise everyone,” said Ceppa. “After not training to the fullest for the past two and a half months, because she started a full time job to secure the medical benefits she needs, she stepped up over the past two weeks and accomplished some pretty awesome things. This was her very first competition ever with her new partner (Pickens).”

Burke will leave for Spain July 9th in order to have a training camp with the World Championship team at Palma de Mallorca Spain until July 15.  On the 15th she will travel to Barcelona, to the site of the 1992 Olympic Games, where she will practice until July 20th when the competition begins.  World Championships conclude on July 28th and Amanda will return to the states on July 30th. 

"I am remembering to take this experience and use it for the future," Burke said, with her eye still on the Olympics. "The 'Worlds' are second only to the Olympics so we want to take this opportunity and run with it. But I am trying to not make such a big deal of it so the less nervous I will be."

“With Amanda earning berths to events at this level, the USOC has now agreed to cover her medical benefits for the foreseeable future in return for her going back to training at the highest possible levels,” Ceppa said. “This will ensure Amanda's continued success on the international stage leading up to the 2016 games.  She is very excited with everything beginning to fall into place as she moves closer to her ultimate goal.”

Earlier this month Burke was in Fort Lauderdale for the AT&T Grand Prix meet, an international meet that she qualified for last summer by placing in the top two at the National Championships.  At the Grand Prix Burke was the only female springboard diver from the US to make the finals and finish at the top of this international field.  At the competition which represented 20 different countries from around the world, Burke finished fifth out of 22 athletes in her event. 

In June of 2012 Burke and her former partner, Summer Allman, placed third in the finals of the 3-meter Synchronized Springboard dive at the US Olympic Team Trials. “Summer retired to have a baby,” Burke said.

Burke is from Richboro, PA and is a 2005 graduate of William Tennent High School.  As a senior at Rider Burke was the Eastern College Athletic Conference Champion and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion in both the one-meter and the three-meter dives, earning Diver of the Year honors at both championships while leading Rider to the MAAC Title for the first time since 2003.

Burke owns all five Rider team diving records and all four Rider Pool diving records, as well as both MAAC diving records.

In August, 2011 Burke qualified for the Olympic Trials in two events, by placing second in three-meter synchronized dive and sixth in the three-meter dive at the U. S. National Diving Championships, held at UCLA.

She also won the one-meter dive at the 2011 AT&T National Championships, although the one-meter is not an Olympic event. “I’ll still be diving the one-meter,” Burke said, “as an extra event. It is good practice competing and it is less stressful.”

-ru-


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