tampabay.com

Largo to host national meet

By BOB PUTNAM
Published July 24, 2005


The Southwest Aquatic Complex always attracts big meets. The Largo facility has an outdoor 50-meter Olympic pool with two 1-meter springboards and two 3-meter springboards.

But the complex's biggest draw, at least for divers, is the county's only tower platform, complete with a 7.5-meter board and 10-meter board.

That was a big selling point in helping bring the AAU national meet to Largo this week. It is the first time since 1979 AAU is offering a national competition. "The city of Largo has done an outstanding job of hosting other AAU meets, and there are tremendous facilities there," said Todd Proa, national aquatic chairman for AAU. "Plus, it's in Florida."

AAU attracts some of the top young athletes in the country, and the big meets often serve as a precursor to the Olympics. More than 7,000 currently compete in AAU diving. Some past notable names include former Olympians Greg Louganis and Mary Ellen Clark.

This week's meet will include more than 600 of the nation's top young divers. "This was the right time to get back into national competitions for diving," Proa said. "This also is the right facility."

AAU NATIONAL MEET

WHERE: Southwest Aquatic Complex, 131120 Vonn Road, Largo.

WHEN: Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

ADMISSION: Free, but parking and seating is first-come, first-serve. There are about 500 bleachers seats.

AGE GROUPS: Four for boys and girls: 11-under, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18. All compete in 1-meter and 3-meter springboards. The 11-under and 12-13 compete in the 5-meter and 7-meter platforms. The 14-15 and 16-18 compete in the 5-meter, 7-meter and 10-meter platforms.