Pine-Richland diver Giordano enjoys rapid rise
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Initially, Dominic Giordano had to be convinced he was a diver. He had to be urged to train in the sport seriously. He needed to truly believe it was a worthwhile pursuit.
All it took was one summer for his God-given ability to shine through. Less than three years later, he's evolved into one of the top divers in the state.
Giordano, a senior at Pine-Richland, will look to defend his WPIAL Class AAA diving championship Feb. 23 at North Allegheny.
A Florida State recruit, he also is striving to win a PIAA gold medal after two prior top-eight finishes.
Not bad for a kid who needed to be talked into the sport.
“Dom was swimming and was more of a swimmer than a diver,” Pine-Richland diving coach Maria Misenhelter recalled. “And at the end of his freshman year, I convinced him he needed to go and train year-round down at Pitt.
“Dom didn't want to go. He said, ‘I'm a swimmer, not a diver.' I said, ‘Dom, trust me, you're a diver.' ”
Giordano placed among the top seven in the WPIAL during each of his first three years of high school. He advanced to the finals of the Junior National Diving Championships in August, and he's earned that Division I scholarship.
“He's come a long way in a very short amount of time,” Pitt Aquatic Club program director Doe Krug said.
Giordano moved with his family from northern California about a year and a half before he was to enter high school. He had dabbled in diving but needed a little nudge to pursue it more seriously.
Once he arrived at Pitt Aquatic the summer after his freshman year, it took just three practices for Giordano's promise to stand out to the college coaches who eye diving talent for a living. Doe's husband, Julian, is Pitt's coach.
“He's really intense, so he calls me over as I'm working on something and sits me down,” Giordano said. “ ‘You have tons of potential, and we'd love to work with you — as long as you're willing and want to be here in the right mindset.' He wanted to make sure if I didn't want to be diving; they weren't going to push me. They wanted me to want it.
“And that made me realize, yes, I do want this. With Connor (Kuremsky) and J.B. (Kolod) and the other amazing divers who have come through that program, I wanted to be that good. I wanted summer nationals. I wanted to dive in college — and to get it, I was willing to work my butt off.”
Giordano still swims — he achieved WPIAL championships qualifying times in multiple events this season — but diving is his passion. He succeeded Kuremsky's WPIAL title reign — the former North Allegheny star won four in a row — by bettering the field by more than 100 points.
More striking, Giordano's score of 544.50 was better than the PIAA record, which has held for the past 24 years. Kuremsky holds the WPIAL record (607.30).
“He's a truly competitive person,” Misenhelter said. “It doesn't matter if it's swimming or diving, you can see it in his eye, he wants to win.”
To that end, it's not surprising Giordano is intent on ending his high school career with a PIAA gold medal next month at Bucknell.
Giordano was considered a favorite last season after breaking the PIAA record at WPIALs. But he hit his hand on the board while performing a reverse two-and-a-half tuck. The resulting automatic deduction allowed him to place no better than fifth.
“As good as he is,” Doe Krug said, “I hate to put pressure on somebody, but I completely predict he'll dominate the upcoming WPIAL diving championships, and then at states, I don't know if I actually want to use the word ‘dominate,' but he's as good as anyone that's around.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Meteor lights up night sky above eastern U.S.
- Serra boys soccer preps for early-season clash
- Kittanning’s holiday gifts come early for Ford City group
- Armstrong bolstering pool of temp workers for Health Center
- Microsoft to pay $2.5B for ‘Minecraft’ maker
- Allegheny Valley School Board hires Foreman Group to assess repairs at Colfax Upper Elementary
- Van Voorhis man charged for Monessen cell incident
- Meyers Player of the Week
- Airport sale held off a day
- Investors play it safe before Federal Reserve meeting
- Belle Vernon man facing child sex assault charges