CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech, one of the nine Power Five Conference schools believed to never have an athlete come out publicly as LGBT, experienced an influx of LGBT athletes last week.
At least four out LGBT men’s divers competed at the NCAA Zone A Championships hosted by Virginia Tech and held in Christiansburg, Va., from March 6-8.
The divers were Old Dominion junior Cory Moreno, Drexel freshman Anthony Musciano, West Virginia junior Alex Obendorf, and Harvard junior David Pfeifer.
“That’s a big thing, especially for just one zone,” said Obendorf, who came out publicly in 2014. “I personally wouldn’t think there would be that many [LGBT] people here.”
Zone A, which spans from Virginia to Maine, was one of five zone meets held last week. Divers had to qualify for the zone meet during the regular season, and 40 men’s divers competed in Zone A, making the rainbow contingent 10% of the competitors.
Purdue’s Max Showalter was another out LGBT diver at one of the other four zone meets (see below). Outsports does not know of any other publicly out divers in the zone meets.
“It’s cool,” Moreno said of learning so many of the divers at such a big meet are out gay athletes. “I mean it’s not the first thing I focus on when I get here. We are all here focusing on diving and just trying to do a good job.”
Obendorf performed best of the group. He made the top 18 to earn a spot in the finals on all three boards — 1-meter springboard, 3-meter springboard, and platform. His best finish was 12th place on platform, where he scored 580.15 points on his 12 dives.
Moreno, Musciano and Pfeifer competed on springboard. Pfeifer made the finals on 3-meter, where he finished 16th with 624.35 points for his 12 dives. Moreno’s best finish was 22nd on 1-meter with 268.35 points for six dives, and Musciano’s best result was 31st on 1-meter with 247.05 points.
“This meet was actually very nerve-racking,” Musciano said. “It’s very intimidating to be here as a freshman, but for the most part, I had fun.”
Musciano, who has been out to family and friends since his freshman year of high school, spoke publicly about being gay for the first time at the meet. He told his Drexel teammates that he’s gay during his recruiting trip and has felt loved by them throughout his inaugural college season. He is believed to be the first Drexel athlete to be out publicly as LGBT.
Divers can qualify for the zone meet at almost any meet during the season, but Musciano didn’t score high enough until he executed the final 3-meter dive at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship meet. His score won him the CAA 3-meter title and a NCAA postseason berth.
“I did pretty well for my first zones,” Musciano said. “Some things could have gone better. … But overall, I think I did pretty good.”
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT.
Nicholle Aston (senior, Cornell women’s basketball) ended the season with six points and 11 rebounds in a 67-46 loss to Brown on March 4. Aston had 15 points and nine rebounds March 3 in a 59-49 win against Yale. The Big Red (16-11 overall, 7-7 Ivy) finished tied for fourth with Brown in the Ivy League, and Brown earned the final spot in the four-team conference tournament by sweeping the season series with Cornell. Aston finished second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game and fourth in scoring with 8.6 points per game. She finishes her career with 927 points and 577 rebounds.
Tim Cox (senior, Yale men’s track & field) took 10th in the 1,000 meters (2 minutes, 27.35 seconds) at the IC4A Championships on March 3-5. At the same meet, Chase Boyle (senior, Mount St. Mary’s men’s track & field) recorded fouls on all three attempts in the weight throw.
Drew Davis (redshirt senior, Limestone men’s volleyball) played in two of three matches the last two weeks as the Saints (8-6 overall) went 2-1. Against Erskine on March 4, he recorded six kills and 11 digs.
Kyle Decker (sophomore, DePaul men’s track & field) earned a spot on the Big East Men’s Indoor Track and Field All-Conference Team, which was announced March 2.
Chandler Frumin (junior, Tennessee women’s rowing) opened the spring season Saturday and Sunday with the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational. The school did not make available which rowers competed in which boats.
Emmonnie Henderson (senior, Louisville women’s track & field) finished sixth Friday in the shot put (57 feet, 5 inches) at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships to earn All-American honors, and her throw broke her own school record in the event.
Jake Martin (redshirt senior, Ohio State men’s gymnastics) won the high bar with a score of 14.800 on March 4 during the Arnold Challenge against Minnesota and the Ukraine national team. On Saturday against Oklahoma, Martin won the all-around competition with 85.300 points, his highest score of the season.
Max Showalter (sophomore, Purdue men’s diving) earned a berth to the NCAA Championships by finishing third on platform with a score of 721.15 points at the NCAA Zone C meet in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday. He also finished 22nd on 3-meter springboard.
Steven Stumph (senior, Southern California men’s swimming) won his third consecutive Pac-12 Conference title in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:53.08) on March 4. He finished seventh in both the 100 breaststroke (53.01 seconds) and 200 individual medley (1:45.05) at the Pac-12 meet. The Trojans finished third as a team.
Taylor Tvedt (senior, Lehigh women’s lacrosse) started all five games to help the Mountain Hawks start the season 3-2 with both losses against top-15 teams, No. 7 Penn State and No. 12 Penn.
Juan Varona (redshirt senior, Barton men’s volleyball) played in one of two matches the last two weeks as the Bulldogs (12-4 overall) went 2-0. Varona had one dig in a three-set win against Pfeiffer.
Jenny Allard (head coach, Harvard softball) guided the Crimson (7-3 overall) to a 4-1 record on a California trip.
Chris Burns (assistant coach, Bryant men’s basketball) saw the Bulldogs (12-20 overall) end their season with a 100-78 loss to St. Francis in the NEC tournament quarterfinals on March 1.
Colin Christiansen (assistant coach, Maryland-Baltimore County softball) helped the Retrievers (9-15 overall) to a 5-5 record the last two weeks.
Nunzio Esposto (Duke men’s and women’s diving coach) guided four Blue Devil divers to NCAA berths from the NCAA Zone B meet March 6-8 at Auburn, Alabama.
Patrick Jeffrey (Stanford men’s and women’s diving coach) coached six Cardinal divers to NCAA berths at the NCAA Zone E meet March 6-8 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) helped the No. 4-ranked Bruins to wins against California and North Carolina during the last two weeks.
Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) led the Gauchos (7-7 overall) to a 3-1 record the last two weeks with the loss against No. 11 Pepperdine.
Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) helped the No. 10-ranked Bruins (21-5 overall) to an 8-2 record the last two weeks.
Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) lost the opener of the SEC tournament to Alabama 77-57 on March 1 to move to 14-16 overall on the season.
Alanna Carvalho (junior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) contributed to the Chargers (8-2 overall) going 3-2 the last two weeks. She scored three goals in Sunday’s 16-5 loss to Rollins.
Carly Muscaro (senior, Merrimack women’s track & field) won the 200 and 400-meter titles and helped the Merrimack 1,600-meter relay place fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 9-11 in Huntsville, Alabama. Merrimack took seventh as a team.
Austin Shupp (redshirt sophomore, Shippensburg men’s track & field) received all-region honors in the 60-meter hurdles from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, which was announced Feb. 27.
Lauren Lappin (assistant coach, Missouri-St. Louis softball) saw the Tritons (18-6 overall) go 7-1 the last two weeks. That included a 2-0 win against No. 7 Grand Valley State on March 7.
Tony Nicolosi (head coach, Cal State East Bay men’s & women’s track & field) had meets March 4 and March 11.
Ryan Beene (senior, Texas Lutheran men’s tennis) earned a win at No. 2 singles and two doubles wins in his team’s two matches the last two weeks.
Michael Drougas (junior, Oberlin men’s tennis) won at No. 3 singles and No. 3 doubles during Sunday’s match against John Carroll.
Sam Knollmeyer (freshman, Hamilton men’s lacrosse) did not play in the first three games as the Continentals started 2-1.
Chance Wheeler (freshman, Wilson men’s volleyball) has 84 digs this season, having played in 19 of 21 matches. Michael Martin (sophomore, Wilson men’s volleyball) has left the team.
T.J. Greggs (head coach, Agnes Scott women’s tennis) lost a 7-2 match against Berry College on March 2.
Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) led the No. 9-ranked Crusaders (16-5 overall) to go 4-1 the last two weeks.
Taylor Emery (sophomore, Gulf Coast State women’s basketball) helped her team go 3-0 to win the NJCAA Region 8 tournament from March 8-11 to earn a berth to the NJCAA National Championship, which will take place March 20-25 in Lubbock, Texas. Emery had 20 points and four rebounds in Saturday’s 80-72 win in the Region 8 title game against Chipola.