Pair of Quaker Valley students does Sewickley Diving Academy proud
Quaker Valley sixth-graders Ruby Olliffe and Ruby Krotine have been gems for a youth diving program run out of Sewickley Valley YMCA.
Olliffe and Krotine, members of Sewickley Diving Academy, qualified for the AAU Red-White-Blue National Championships on May 24-27 in Coral Springs, Fla.
Olliffe (173.55 points) and Krotine (139.50) placed fourth and ninth in the Group C girls 1-meter event at the Red-White-Blue White North Qualifier on March 23-24 at Bowling Green. The top six in each event advanced to nationals or were invited after participating in the qualifier.
“Both (girls) performed exceptionally well,” Sewickley Diving Academy coach Becca Kirby said. “The competition was tough. I didn’t expect to be leaving with two national qualifiers.”
Olliffe, 12, plans more difficult dives.
“I will keep practicing with my coach and the rest of the team two to three times a week,” Olliffe said.
Krotine, 12, is undecided about going to nationals but said it was an honor to be chosen.
Kirby, a former Quaker Valley diver, said both girls have a lot of potential.
“(Olliffe’s) body alignment is flawless,” Kirby said. “Ruby Krotine is also very talented. She is one of the strongest and most powerful young girls I have seen. Once she learns to use that power, (Krotine) will be unstoppable.”
Among swimmers, a Sewickley Valley YMCA relay team shined at the Pennsylvania YMCA State Swimming Championship on March 22-24 at Penn State.
The boys 10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kieran Cain, Jacob Keisel, Liam Joyce and Patrick Connors placed 12th (2 minutes, 11.07 seconds), earning ribbons.
“The boys all had amazing swims. It was a true team effort,” Sewickley Valley YMCA coach Paula Kwalick said. “We had been working a lot on relay starts, turns, underwaters, breakouts and finishes in the weeks leading up to championship season.
“The boys knew they would have to step it up and and shave some time if they were to have any chance of getting on the podium.”
Connors, 10, a Quaker Valley fifth-grader, said the meet was a lot of fun.
“I feel that everyone tried their hardest and gave a valiant effort,” he said.
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.