Although they are freshmen, Lucy LaFranchise and Hanna Tears have been on fire the entire swimming and diving season and are looking stronger than ever as they head into regionals. By virtue of their phenomenal performances and spectacular results in countless events, LaFranchise and Tears have been named Freshmen Athletes of the Quarter.
Despite being a new addition to the team, LaFranchise has demonstrated leadership and composure in tough situations where the stakes are high. At the Bruin Diving Invite, she led a contingent of five UC Davis divers on the 3-meter board at the Spieker Aquatics Center. LaFranchise finished 28th with a score of 227.85 after the morning preliminary round, one spot ahead of Tears, who finished with a score of 222.00.
Shortly after the team’s performance in Los Angeles, Tears posted an exceptional performance in UC Davis’ 176-113 dominating win over CSU Bakersfield. Tears scored 278.50 on the low board to surpass senior Erica Stricker’s time of 265.80. Subsequently, she posted a 292.35 on the three-meter board, just falling short of beating senior Jamie Flynn’s five-year record of 293.55. With these scores, Tears was able to qualify for regionals.
LaFranchise dominated in this event, as well, as she scored 266.49 on the one-meter board. Claiming the top two places in their respective events, Tears and LaFranchise truly made their names known to the swimming and diving world.
The two divers will return to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado from March 14 to 16. Both will compete in one-meter action, with Tears poised to compete in the high-board event. Should they post adequate results at the events, they will book their trip to Indianapolis alongside junior Liliana Alvarez.
“This has been a great year,” said diving coach Phil Tonne. “I just want my divers to compete as best as they can.”
— Veena Bansal