Courtesy Rider Sports Information
March 26, 2014 (ISN) – We all knew that Rider University graduate Amanda Burke ’10 is still one of the top divers in the United States, but now it is official.
Twenty-five divers have been selected to the Olympic Performance Squad for 2014 and Amanda Burke is one of them for the second year in a row.
“I am so excited,” said Burke, who took part in the Olympic Trials in the summer of 2012, “It says they expect me to be a contender for the next Olympics.”
The Olympic Performance Squad includes the divers who exhibit the skill and determination it takes to become 2016 Olympic Team members and compete in the Olympic Games. An annual review of the Olympic Performance Squad is conducted at the end of each year.
“They select divers who they expect to be the best in the country over the next few years, leading up to the 2016 Olympics,” Burke said. “I had to sign a contact saying I would stick with it for the next four years, since the USOC will be supporting me through this process. I’ll continue to be competing in national and international meets.”
The OPS squad members were selected based on those divers who competed for the U.S. at the highest level during the past two years or who have been deemed as synchronized specialists by the High Performance Director.
“They hold training camps for us with nutritionists, psychologists, fitness professionals who can advice us,” Burke said.
Burke currently trains in State College, PA with former Rider diving coach Dennis Ceppa.
Burke placed third at the 2013 AT&T National Diving Championships in the 1-meter last August in Iowa.
Burke won the 1-meter at the 2011 Nationals.
In the synchro Burke placed seventh in the world at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Last summer 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.
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, but that is not an Olympic event.
Competing in the Olympics is the ultimate dream for many divers. The Olympic Performance Squad includes divers who exhibit the skill and determination it takes to become Olympic Team members and compete in the Olympic Games. They’re trained by some of the best coaches in the country and have access to some of the best specialists in the nation.
An annual review of the Olympic Performance Squad is conducted at the end of each year, during which divers are evaluated on their overall competition performance and their dedication to their daily training. Currently, there are 26 divers on the Olympic Performance Squad striving to become 2016 Olympic Team members.
And Rider’s Amanda Burke is again one of them. We all knew that, but now it is official.