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LGBT College Sports Roundup: Gay Miami diver wins historic medal at ACC Championships

Diver Tanner Wilfong won silver at the ACC Championships after coming out publicly. Other out gay athletes took golds and silvers in Big Ten and A-10 Championships.

Tanner Wilfong poolside with his silver medal.
Tanner Wilfong poolside with his silver medal.
Erik Hall

GREENSBORO, N.C. --€” Ten meters above the Greensboro Aquatic Center pool, Univ. of Miami diver Tanner Wilfongpushed his left hand through his hair before turning his back to the pool. With only the balls of his feet on the concrete platform, he propelled himself over the water and performed a back 2 1/2 summersault 1 1/2 twist pike for his final dive at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

Wilfong, who announced publicly he's gay in November, scored a 75.2 on his final dive and clinched second place in the ACC men's platform diving competition Saturday, Feb. 20. Georgia Tech's Bradley Homza won the competition with 436.25 points, and Wilfong's six-dive score was 422.0.

"I did pretty well," said Wilfong, who missed the 2014-15 season with a back injury. "To take a year off and only be diving for nine months now, it's awesome."

A redshirt junior, Wilfong was also 2014 ACC platform runner-up. Though this is his second ACC silver medal, this year's performance makes him the first openly gay athlete to place as an individual in any ACC competition.

"It just goes to show you that if anything it only helps you," Wilfong said of being openly gay. He'd started telling friends and family his sexuality just a few months before his 2014 title. "Now, it feels normal, which is even better than what it felt two years ago."

Former Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley, who helped the Irish reach the semifinals of the 2014 ACC tournament, is the only previous publicly out gay athlete to compete in an ACC Championships.

"It takes a lot of courage as a college athlete to continue to step up and step out," Warren Perry, ESPN3 broadcaster for the ACC Championships, said of Wilfong. "For him to do that and get second is just a testament to his strength and willpower."

Perry swam at North Carolina from 1999-2001, and he announced publicly he's gay in 2013. This was his sixth year broadcasting the ACC Championships.

Wilfong resumes his season March 9 at the Georgia Tech zone meet, the opening round of the NCAA postseason.

"These past two weeks, I've felt the best I've felt all year," Wilfong said. "I'm excited to bring this and move forward to use this at NCAAs and Olympic trials."

Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT.

Division I

Sean Collins (sophomore, Penn men's track and field) competed in three events Feb. 21 at the Princeton Invitational, where he took seventh in long jump (21 feet, 5 1/4 inches), 11th in the 800 meters (2 minutes, 6.23 seconds), and 12th in the 60-meter hurdles (9.46 seconds).

Konrad Eiring (freshman, Illinois men's track and field) won the 800 meters Feb. 20 at the Orange and Blue Open in 1 minute, 53.47 seconds. At the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, he ran the distance medley relay Friday that placed second (9:45.91) and the 4x400-meter relay, which finished 11th, on Saturday.

Taylor Emery (freshman, Tulane women's basketball) helped the Green Wave go 2-2 the last two weeks with wins against Central Florida and Tulsa. Emery's best game in the stretch came against Temple on Feb. 23 when she had six points, a career-high nine rebounds, and four assists. Tulane (21-10, 12-7 AAC) opened the AAC tournament March 5 with a win.

Derrick Gordon (senior, Seton Hall men's basketball) contributed eight points, six rebounds and two assists as the Pirates beat No. 5-ranked Xavier 90-81 last Sunday. Before the game, Seton Hall (22-8, 12-6 Big East) honored Gordon with a framed jersey for Senior Day. The Pirates have won five of their last six, stand third in the Big East, and open the Big East tournament March 10.

Connor Griffin (freshman, Fordham), Liam Huffman (junior, George Washington), and Nick Jessee (junior, St. Louis) competed at the Atlantic 10 Swimming and Diving Championships in Geneva, Ohio, on Feb. 17-20. Jessee helped win a conference title in the 400-yard freestyle relay (2:59.00) and contributed to a runner-up performance by the 800 free relay (6:32.63). Jessee scored points in every individual event, finishing fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:39.40), 15th in the 100 freestyle (46.27 seconds), and 16th in the 500 freestyle (4:41.33). Huffman's best individual finish was seventh in the 500 freestyle (4:31.68) to go with eighth in the 200 freestyle (1:40.21) and 10th in the 1,650 freestyle (16:04.98), and his 800 freestyle relay took seventh (6:42.31). Griffin swam three events and his best finish was 21st in the 400 individual medley (4:10.62). UMass won the men's team title (671) with St. Louis fourth (457.5), George Washington fifth (398), and Fordham eighth (165).

Bree Horrocks (sophomore, Purdue women's basketball) helped the Boilermakers (20-11, 10-8 Big Ten regular season) finish the regular season on a three-game winning streak with Sunday's 68-48 win over Wisconsin. In a 74-68 overtime win Feb. 25 against Rutgers, Horrocks had 10 points and five rebounds. Purdue advanced to the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed before losing to Michigan State. ESPN currently projects Purdue will make the NCAA tournament.

Ayrton Kasemets (sophomore, Oakland men's swimming) helped the Grizzlies win the Horizon League men's team title by swimming three events. From Feb. 24-27, he swam the 100-yard breaststroke (57.27 seconds, 15th place), 200 breaststroke (2:04.34, 12th), and 200 individual medley (1:56.21, 23rd).

Ryan Murtha (senior, Villanova men's swimming) completed his college career by competing in three races at the Big East Conference meet Feb 24-27. He placed in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:24.09, fourth place), 50 freestyle (21.57 seconds, 16th), and 200 freestyle (1:43.42, 14th).

Alex Obendorf (sophomore, West Virginia men's diving) placed in all three diving events at the Big 12 Conference meet Feb. 24-27 to help the Mountaineers finish second as a team. He took third on platform (303.10 points), fourth on 3-meter springboard (360.65), and fifth on 1-meter (314.75).

Austin Parrish (junior, Eastern Illinois men's swimming) swam three events at the Summit League championship meet with his best finish 15th in the 1,650-yard freestyle (17:18.73).

Jazmine Sosa (senior, UCLA softball) has yet to play this season. Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) helped guide the No. 10-ranked Bruins to go 5-5 the last two weeks.

Gavin Studner (senior, Lafayette men's tennis) lost matches against Wagner and Hofstra during the past two weeks in singles and doubles.

Tanner Williams (senior, Oklahoma men's track and field) finished 10th in pole vault (16-6 1/2) at the Big 12 Conference indoor meet Friday.

Chris Burns (assistant coach, Bryant men's basketball) ended the season with a win Saturday against LIU-Brooklyn 88-83 to end a 12-game losing streak. Bryant finishes the year 8-23.

Galen Dodd (assistant coach, Southern California men's volleyball) saw the Trojans (3-13 overall) go 1-3 the last two weeks with a win against Hawaii.

Patrick Jeffrey (diving coach, Stanford men's and women's diving) coached Gracia Leydon-Mahoney to wins in 3-meter and platform diving at the Pac-12 Championships from Feb. 24-27.

Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women's gymnastics) helped his No. 6-ranked Bruins win against Washington and Arizona State.

Lee-J Mirasolo (assistant coach, Harvard women's hockey) saw the Crimson go 1-1 the final week of the regular season before losing a ECAC playoff series to No. 9-ranked Colgate 2 game to 1. Harvard ends the season 17-12-3 overall.

Ryan Mizner (assistant coach, Central Michigan men's basketball) experienced a 3-1 record the past two weeks.

Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC-Santa Barbara women's tennis) guided his team to a 3-1 record the last two weeks

Division II

Alanna Carvalho (sophomore, Erskine women's lacrosse) scored four goals in Saturday's 13-6 loss to Converse.

LeQuan Chapman (senior, Shippensburg men's track and field) received the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Indoor Field Athlete of the Week on Feb. 16. He then won the triple jump (46-2 1/2) and finished second in long jump (22-10 1/2) at Kutztown University on Feb. 20. Chapman also won the long jump (24-2 1/2) and the triple jump (49-6 1/4) at the PSAC indoor meet Saturday and Sunday.

Ian Davies (freshman, Shippensburg men's track and field) took eighth in the mile (4:42.87) at Kutztown University on Feb. 20. He helped the team's 4x800-meter relay take sixth at the PSAC indoor meet (8:08.73).

Javier Ruisanchez (freshman, Gannon men's swimming) finished 15th in the 200 butterfly (1:58.58), 17th in the 1,000 freestyle (10:08.76), 18th in the 1,650 freestyle (17:12.84), and 36th in the 200 freestyle (1:49.32) at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 18-21.


Austin Shupp (sophomore, Shippensburg men's track and field) tore two ligaments in his ankle during a race in early February that kept him out for the rest of indoor season and will keep him from competing the entire outdoor track and field season.

Division III

Ryan Beene (junior, Texas Lutheran men's tennis) lost his No. 1 singles match 6-3, 6-4 against McMurry University on Friday during his team's 9-0 loss.

Chris Cassingham (sophomore, Mary Washington men's swimming) helped his team win the Capital Athletic Conference championship Feb. 19-21. He swam the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:36.47, third place), 500 freestyle (4:41.31, third), and 200 freestyle (1:47.85, eighth).

Michael Drougas (sophomore, Oberlin men's tennis) played No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles against University of Findlay and Tiffin University, and he won both matches against both opponents.

Max Korten (senior, Moravian men's track & field) finished 11th in the 3,000 meters (10:07.93) on Feb. 20 at Kutztown, Pa. He took 18th in the 5,000 meters (17:35.36) at the Landmark Conference Championships, which Moravian's men won.

Mark Kroll (senior, Coe men's tennis) played three doubles matches, winning all three, the last two weeks. Those wins helped Coe beat Wartburg, Carthage, and Quincy.

Michael Martin (freshman, Wilson men's volleyball) provided three kills in a 3-0 loss to Marymount University, and Wilson went 0-5 the last two weeks.

Nathan Rommel (senior, Hope men's swimming) swam five events at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association meet Feb. 17-20. He swam the 100-yard butterfly (52.34 seconds, seventh), 200 butterfly (1:57.33, seventh place), 200 individual medley (1:59.13, 10th), 200 medley relay (1:36.61, fourth), and 400 medley relay (3:31.80, fourth) to help Hope finish third as a team.

NAIA

Andres Bustani (senior, Lewis-Clark men's tennis) won at No. 3 doubles against Seattle University on Feb. 20, but he lost his singles match and his team lost 5-2. He lost in singles and doubles to Idaho State on Feb. 20.

Jesse Taylor (redshirt sophomore, Dakota Wesleyan men's basketball) did not play in his team's 102-91 loss against Nebraska Wesleyan during Saturday's conference tournament semifinal. Dakota Wesleyan (22-10 overall) learns Wednesday if it made the NAIA postseason tournament.

Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men's volleyball) steered his team to a 4-3 record the last two weeks.

Upcoming televised competitions involving LGBT college athletes and coaches that have announced their sexuality publicly. (All times are Eastern.)

Wednesday, March 2

Derrick Gordon, Seton Hall men's basketball at Butler; Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

March 2-6

Bree Horrocks, Purdue women's basketball at Big Ten Tournament; Indianapolis, TBA (Big Ten Network)

Erik Hall can be reached via email at hallerik7@gmail.com or on Twitter @HallErik or on Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, email Erik.