Fuel Diving sends three to national championships

Three other locals qualified, but will not attend meet

Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times
Fuel Diving Club team members, from left, Genevieve Paul, Joe Paul and Juliette Paul pose for a portrait on Wednesday at the Farmington Aquatic Center.
  • Fuel qualified six divers for the national meet, but only three will make the trip.
  • Joe Paul, 13, is competing at the national championships for the second straight year.
  • The championships will be held in San Antonio May 26-29.

FARMINGTON — Three members of the Fuel Dive Club will compete at the AAU Red, White and Blue National Championships this weekend in San Antonio.

The trio of divers — siblings Juliette, Genevieve and Joe Paul — heading to the national meet, which will feature more than 500 divers from across the country, qualified for the event during a regional meet in Salt Lake City in March.

Fuel sent seven members of its team to the regional event in Salt Lake City, and six qualified for the national championships. However, the Pauls are the only ones who will make the trip to Texas.

"Six kids qualified, which is pretty good, but we're only taking three of those six just because of timing and financial things," Donald said.

Eliana Christensen and brothers Helaman and Mosiah Seavey are the three members of the club who will not make the trip to San Antonio.

Fuel Diving Club team members, from left, Genevieve Paul, Joe Paul, Eliana Christensen, Mosiah Seavey and Juliette Paul pose for a portrait on Wednesday at the Farmington Aquatic Center.

Donald said many more than the 535 divers who are registered for the national championships qualified for the event, but like Christensen and the Seaveys, they could not attend.

"It's hard to go the regional meet and turn around to go to the national meet," Donald said. "And to get into the meet is quite expensive. It's (more than $100) to get registered, and then to travel and get your family there makes it tough."

Joe Paul, 13, made the trip to nationals last year while Juliette, 8, and Genevieve, 11, are making their first trip as competitors.

Donald said he thinks the Pauls' and Seaveys' diving abilities are amplified by their sibling relationships.

Fuel Diving Club coach Ian Donald, center, talks with his team on Wednesday at the Farmington Aquatic Center.

"The siblings seem to push each other. They all seem to have a back-home understanding of how to lift each other up," Donald said.

The national championships will take place Friday through Monday. Divers compete in different age groups, ranging from 9 and younger to 18 years old.

Each competitor gets a certain number of dives based on his or her age group. Donald said the 9U group typically gets four dives while the 16-18U group will probably get 10 dives.

Donald said that while he would like the Fuel divers to have great showings at the meet, gaining the mental experience of diving at such a large meet is the primary focus this weekend.

"Every meet we go to, it makes it easier for the next meet. With these guys going to the nationals, when they get to high school or college and they go to a big event, it's not as nerve wracking," Donald said. "I think these guys get an advantage because they've been to big meets, and they kind of get used to that environment."

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.