From the Maplewood Manta Rays Diving Team: The Maplewood Manta Rays enjoyed a five meet season and placed third in Championships with the Tri-County Diving League this year. Thunderstorms and inclement weather couldn’t keep this team down! Ben Doubek, the new head Diving Coach, along with his assistant coaches led the Maplewood Manta Rays through a successful season. Season highlights include three first place winners: Ben Doubek, Quinn Ruhl and Issac Ortiz as well a a third place winner, Melinda Lituchy. All of the diver’s hard work and practice paid off as they headed to their last meet against Nomehegan. Their final meet produced several winners including four first place ribbons to Ben Doubek, Toby Garritano, Larkin Villatoro, and Quinn Ruhl. Five second places were awarded to Devin Brown, Tai Artis, Melinda Lituchy, Charlotte (Charlie) Keenan and Vaughn Ruhl. Finally, two third place ribbons were awarded to Lucy Hiummel and Luke Shamburg. Over the season, the team won 2 hard fought meets against very competitive teams. All of our divers improved immensely over the course of the season, and the hard work embodied by this young team bodes well for next year’s competitions.
Off the boards, the divers raised $435 at a dive-a-thon held at the Maplewood Community Pool, which benefitted Saint Hubert’s Animal shelter. The Manta Rays team dove for 2 hours straight to raise the donations.
“The dive team puts in so many early morning hours at the tank, and listening to them motivate each other is a great example of teamwork. We owe a great deal of thanks to the parents that get their children here ready to dive as well as assist at meets, as well as our coaches who keep everyone safe and motivated. A special thank you to Ses Spinelli for stepping up and facilitating the 2018 season. Ses spent hours organizing rosters, ordering wardrobe and helping schedule practices and meets. Watching the competitions reminds us all of the confidence and bravery necessary for diving. We look forward to next season and a growing Manta Rays team,” said Melissa Mancuso, Director of Recreation and Community Affairs.