Maja Boric leads UMass diving into winter break, Puerto Rico trip

By Liam Flaherty

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

In the final meet of the fall semester for the Massachusetts diving team, Maja Boric took first place in both events she participated in at the Bucknell Diving Invitational.

On the one-meter board, a score of 298.80 was enough to award her the top spot in last weekend’s competition. For her next dive from the three-meter board, a score of 320.55 secured her the top position on the leaderboards.

Despite only being with the program for a few months, the freshman from Zagreb, Croatia, is off to an incredible start in her first season as a part of the Minutewomen.

“It was a great, big meet with a lot of divers, which was something different than the others,” Boric said of her performance at the Bucknell Invitational. “We were diving for two hours so it was exhausting.”

Her score on the three-meter is the best that any women diver in the Atlantic-10 has put up so far this season. Boric now stands as the second best dive in the history of the Minutewomen’s program.

While the second-best dive in program history should be something to boast about, the freshman isn’t pleased with her score just yet.

“I feel really good about that,” Boric said. “But my goal is to beat the best score.”

Boric wasn’t the only UMass diver on the leaderboards in the three-meter event, as three teammates placed directly below her at the meet.

She conveyed her happiness for her teammates, Katie Polk, Emma Roush and Julia Jagannath, whom all finished with career-best scores in the event.

“I’m telling you it really feels like we’re all really strong divers and we’re all pushing each other to get better,” Boric said.

“[The team] tries to create an environment of competition which ultimately makes [the divers] all a lot better,” UMass diving coach Mandy Hixon said.

For her showing on the boards at the Bucknell Invitational, the Atlantic 10 named Boric the Rookie of the Week.

The award tallies the third time so far this season Boric has been recognized by the conference and she explains that the honor is one that, “makes [her] want to work more and train even harder.”

Boric’s impressive dives late in the semester aren’t something new, though, as she has been putting together great performances all year.

Even in her first competitive meet with the team, she showed the world of diving just what she’s capable of.

A first place finish at the Colgate Fall Classic with score of 289.95 on the one-meter board qualified her for the NCAA zone meet.

Just under a month later at a tri-meet with Brown and Yale, Boric qualified again for the NCAA zone meet where a second place finish and score of 302.15 on the three-meter dive was enough for her to achieve the qualification.

As the Bucknell Invitational signaled the end of first semester competition, the UMass divers are now ready for the break they will receive after finishing up with final exams.

After a parting of ways, which means a short return to Croatia for Boric, the team will reconvene in Amherst before boarding a flight to Puerto Rico where they’ll train in preparation for competition to continue.

“It’ll be nice to have everybody back together and training again,” Hixon said. “Then we’ll come back and hit the floor running, getting right back into competition and preparing for the A-10 championships in February.”

The UMass diving teams will get back into action after their trip Jan. 13 when they compete in the Buffalo Diving Invitational in New York. 

Liam Flaherty can be reached at [email protected]