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Vallance making a splash: Freshmen first MC pool athlete to make regional in four decades

February 28, 2014

Allie Vallance felt right at home on her first visit to Monmouth and now she’s bringing home the first pool sport NCAA Regional appearance for the school since 1969. Twice this season she met the minimum point total for regional qualification and set a school record of 421.45 at last week’s Midwest Conference Championships, earning a second place finish at the meet. Only in her first year of college diving, Vallance has written her name all over the Fighting Scot diving record book. Still, the competition will surely be the fiercest she’s seen yet when this weekend, Feb. 28 – March 1, she’ll compete against elite divers from Principia College, Augustana College, University of Chicago and more. They’ll all be vying for a trip to the NCAA Division III national championship meet in Indianapolis March 19-22.

Diving was always a key part of what Vallance was looking for in a college. “When I visited Monmouth, the swimming and diving team made me feel so at home and made my decision easy to make. They treated me with much respect and made me feel as if I was already part of the team though I was only here for a visit. I’m very happy that I ended up choosing Monmouth and couldn’t be any prouder to be a Fighting Scot!”

Although diving is naturally an individual sport, Vallance is quick to credit her teammates and coaches for the support and help they’ve provided her.

“We are literally one, big, happy family. I wouldn’t trade the teammates I have now for anything; they were also a big part of my success.”

Monmouth diving coach, Al McGuire, was an All-American diver himself and through Vallance is showing great success as a coach. “I would not have qualified for this regional meet without [Coach McGuire’s] coaching or support,” Vallance said. “During practice, he loves to be a jokester and have fun along with giving me constructive criticism that only helps my diving.”

Head Coach Tom Burek recognizes what a step forward Vallance’s qualification is for Monmouth College aquatics. “This is a huge step for our program,” Burek said. “For Allie to qualify on the 1-meter board sends a clear signal that diving is a big part of our swimming and diving program. Divers looking at Monmouth will see the program is advancing forward.”

Outside of the pool, Vallance says she’s a proud member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, enjoys spending time with teammates, her family and napping.

Cameron Line
Sports Editor

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