A Ton-ole of talent, and they dive right in!
In photo above, Sam Tonole and Synchro partner Trevor Brown perform a 1-meter dive.
By Michael James LeClair
To compete for a national championship at any level is quite an accomplishment and often a once in a lifetime opportunity however the Tonole family of Lunenburg is turning the achievement into old hat.
11-year-old Sam Tonole and his two younger sisters, nine-year old Jessica and seven-year old Lily competed in Amateur Athletic Union Diving National Championships in Huntersville, North Carolina during the final week of July and the three not only performed well, they cleaned up.
“I, myself was a gymnast who transformed into a diver and it’s been a very big part of my life and the kids were interested in giving it a try and they really enjoyed it and here we are today,”said mom and coach Kelly Tonole. “It’s in the genes. It’s a lot of hard work. Everyone is really proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
This was the third trip that Sam and Jessica competed in the National Championships. This year marked the first time Lily took part.
“It was a lot different from last year; all the divers got a lot better and it was very competitive,” said Sam, who along with his two sisters is involved in gymnastics when not in the water. “Personally I think I did pretty well compared to the other years. It was a great experience.”
According to Kelly, in order to qualify for the National Championships each age group must have a qualifying score.
Sam, Jessica and Lily have climbed the ranks in a short amount of time. Sam and Lily began diving at the age of six while Jessica started when she was just five. The trio’s home pool is in Sudbury. However the three competed in several diving events around the area before qualifying for nationals in their respective age groups.
“Just qualifying is a really big deal for all of them and takes a lot of hard work,” remarked Kelly. “When you’re put into the same arena with all these amazing [athletes] and you are in that category, it’s a real confidence booster.”
For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of The Lunenburg Ledger in stores now, or call (978) 582-8200 to subscribe today!
- The Great Pumpkin Carver Photo Contest 2012! - Last Week!
- The Great Pumpkin Carver Photo Contest 2012! - WEEK 3
- The Great Pumpkin Carver Photo Contest 2012! - WEEK 2
- The Great Pumpkin Carver Photo Contest 2012! - WEEK 1
- Vote NO to article 2 & 3 at Special Town Meeting September 25
- Room for improvement and professionalism
- Tax exemptions for low income and seniors
- From former Library Trustees
- What if your income doesn’t increase?
- Why couldn’t you sign it?