Looking for more history
TCNJ teammates look to add to impressive list of honors
SHENANDOAH, Texas -- College of New Jersey divers Danica Roskos and Sabrina Lucchesi look to continue making history as they compete at the Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.
Roskos – now a senior – has had an especially impactful career since her arrival in 2009.
Named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Diver of the Year for the past three years, she sets the bar for an exceptional group of Lion divers. After clinching three national titles, Roskos continues to cement herself as one of the most decorated divers in school and NCAA Division III history.
Lucchesi, a junior, has garnered accolades in her own right, earning multiple All-American honors.
The duo had an especially prolific year in 2011 when Lucchesi clinched All-American honors with a ninth-place finish in the one-meter dive while Roskos laid claim to two national titles in the one-meter and three-meter dives, respectively.
Even with the experience garnered by winning national titles, Roskos said she relies most heavily on the support of her coach and teammates.
“Some experience is always something you can work off of but really I just take each year in stride,” Roskos said. “I have the best coach and teammates that a girl could ask for. They help me keep stay focused for each and every meet whether it’s a conference meet, dual meet or the NCAAs.”
Lucchesi said when dealing with the pressures of winning titles and accolades, its best to not get overwhelmed.
“I just try to take it one day at a time, I try not to put pressure on myself,” Lucchesi said. “A top-seed finish would be lovely, but as of right now it’s me against myself and I just want to dive my best. I want to do the best I can do and not worry about where I or anyone else finishes.”
Even so, there is much on the line for the two divers. Lucchesi, already with All-American honors under her belt, has a chance at her first individual title. Roskos, who holds the championship record for the women’s one-meter dive with 515.9 points, is now aiming for her third consecutive national championship in the event.
Still, College of New Jersey head coach Candace Gottlieb said she preaches the philosophy of shielding out thoughts and concerns about potential titles or finishes –- a philosophy now adapted by her divers.
“I always tell the girls don’t worry about where you think or where you want to finish -– just get in your zone like it’s me and you against the world,” Gottlieb said. “Really, all in all, I tell them don’t worry about it, let’s just have a good time and enjoy the ride.”
The ride began Thursday, as Roskos finished with a second-place point total of 509.15 in the three-meter dive while Lucchesi earned a 14th-place finish.
The one meter event – and a potential three-peat national title opportunity for Roskos -– will take place Friday.