Rockhurst grad Ford McLiney recently became the first men’s diver at Texas A&M to win a Southeastern Conference championship.
On the first day of the SEC meet last week in Athens, Ga., McLiney, a junior, won the three-meter springboard gold with a career-best six-dive score of 424.95. He trailed the leader by 11 points heading into the final dive. Columbia native David Bonuchi of Missouri finished third.
Three days later, McLiney took his second gold by winning the platform dive, also in come-from-behind fashion. McLiney’s back 3 1/2 somersault pike on his final dive earned a score of 86.4, moving him from fourth to the lead, and he held off Bonuchi for the victory.
McLiney and Bonuchi have competed together on the U.S. national team.
“I had pretty settled on that I was going to medal but that David Bonuchi was going to win with his last dive,” McLiney said. “He’s such a great and clutch competitor. It’s a great feeling to come out on top, and score some points for my teammates. My last dive is definitely the toughest dive on my list, really the toughest dive we have. It’s so hard that sometimes it hurts me, but if I hit it, it’s a winner. It’s so hard, it’s insane.”