Going on a trip down to Florida for the weekend sounds great to any Boston University student in the midst of a long winter cooped up in New England.
Freshman Melinda Matyas of the BU women’s diving team got that opportunity this past weekend to compete in the 2010 Orlando All-Star Challenge. She took fifth-place in the 3M springboard diving event and also competed in the 10M platform diving event.
For Matyas, the meet served more as a tune-up for the postseason, as she tried out different events that she has not competed in during the regular season, but will have to participate in during the postseason.
BU doesn’t have a 10-meter platform. So, instead of competing in the 1M springboard event, she competed in the 10M platform diving event in order to practice for the NCAA Championships at the end of March, where she will compete in the platform events.
“We were trying to focus on the 10M because we don’t have it at BU,” said BU diving coach Agnes Gerlach-Miller. “The 10M is really challenging when you don’t practice consistently and when you actually go to dive, the 10M takes a toll on your body. She was getting really sore, but she should be okay for the American East Championships this week.”
Gerlach-Miller pulled Matyas from the finals of the 10M, so as to not risk injury before the AE Championships, which start this Thursday at the BU Competition Pool.
The Budapest, Hungary native has been a huge force for BU this season, both on and off the scoreboard.
“[Matyas] has been very successful for the team, a great part of the team. . .overall, scoring well for the team in the springboards,” Gerlach-Miller said. “She’s a great impact and it’s great to have her.
“She loves her teammates, cheers them on, helps them get to a higher level and encourages them to do well,” Gerlach-Miller said.
Out of the 12 meets that Matyas competed in this season, she took first in the 1M and 3M diving events in nine meets, and first in the 1M diving event for the other three meets.
After BU’s previous victory against Boston College (205-93) earlier this month, Matyas was awarded her ninth AE Diver of the Week award this season.
The BU coaching staff says they are confident about Matyas’ chances in the AE Championships this week, the Zone Diving Championships during spring break and the NCAA Championships at the end of March.
“I really hope she does well in the American East [Championships], that’s what is most important to the team,” Gerlach-Miller said. “Later on we go to the NCAA meet where she will compete on the 10-meter platform. . . we are doing the best we can to get her ready for the meet, but she could do really well.
Matyas not only dives for BU&-she also dives for the nation of Hungary.
Before this semester is over, she will fly to Canada to represent Hungary in the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix, and she will also compete in the 2010 European Championships in Budapest from Aug. 12 to the 15, before she arrives back at BU for the fall.