There was nothing preliminary about senior diver Chad Loury’s presence in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference diving prelims on Sunday at the El Monte Aquatic Center.
In fact, it was nothing short of astonishing as Loury set a La Verne record in the men’s 3-meter event with a score of 355.40.
Loury now holds a first place lead in the event before this weekend’s SCIAC championships.
Loury also placed fourth in the 1-meter.
“Definitely taking first is a big step for me,” Loury said. “I never thought about getting first.”
Along with Loury, junior diver Adam Kazub placed eighth in the one-meter event.
“The season went really well, especially for Chad,” Kazub said. “I improved my dives and tried to have as much fun at it.”
Loury was the first to dive in the event. After his dive, Loury headed to the showers and did not stay to watch the other competitors.
It was not until his coach went to get him that he knew what was happening.
“I thought I would end up fourth,” Loury said, “But my coach came in and said ‘You need to come out here.”
Coach Olivia Palmer said she knew Loury placed high, but did not know if it was a record or not.
“He was surprised,” Palmer said. “He didn’t think he had placed that high.”
Loury said he was hesitant at first, but finally came out after his coach said he placed first.
“My coaches have been really helpful,” Loury said.
Loury has been competing in diving for 12 years.
As a sophomore at Covina High School, he won a California Interscholastic Federation title.
Sunday’s record performance comes just months after Loury tore a cartilage in his left elbow, which required surgery in November and kept him out of competition until mid-January.
“I came back and worked really hard,” Loury said. “This was just the cherry on top. It’s kind of the way I wanted to go.”
“He took it like a champion; he came back with vengeance,” Palmer said. “I was very surprised. I didn’t think he come back that strong.”
Loury now holds both records in men’s diving at La Verne.
He set a personal best in the 1-meter during the final dual meet against Occidental on Jan. 31.
Now that he has accomplished these records, Loury eyes turns to SCIAC championships. But he still believes he has room for improvement.
“I’m looking to do two new dives,” Loury said. “My goal is to place on the podium on both dives. I need to stay consistent.”
“I want him to enjoy his last finals and take in every moment,” Palmer said.
Jonathan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.