Junior Olympic Diving Begins Today at Irvine's Heritage Park

More than 350 athletes from throughout the United States will compete in the Junior Olympic Diving Championships beginning today at Heritage Park in Irvine.

The meet, featuring springboard and platform diving, is considered the season finale for top divers in the 12-and-under, 13-15, and 16-18 age groups.

Several Orange County athletes expected to compete include 17-year-olds Dan Nash, Julie Handren and Lisa Hecker of the Mission Viejo Nadadores, who are 1-meter and 3-meter springboard specialists.

Nadadore Brian Earley, 16, will compete in the 1-meter springboard and platform diving, and former Nadadore standouts Sean Briscomb, 17, of Palo Alto and Brian Ramos, 14, of Florida's Mission Bay Makos will be diving in the 1-meter and 3-meter platform events.

Other top competition is expected from 18-year-old Kelly Jenkins of Houston, the defending champion in the 3-meter springboard, and Vanessa Bergman, 15, of Santa Clara, the age-group champion of last month's world junior championships in Norway.

Competitors qualified for the championships by placing in the top seven in one of four zonal qualifying meets two weeks ago.

Today's events begin with the boys' 12-and-under 1-meter springboard at 10 a.m.

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