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Gay diver helps Texas win NCAA men’s title

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LGBTQ College Roundup: Jacob Cornish, Kennedy Lohman, G Ryan earn All-America honors.

Texas sophomore diver Jacob Cornish holds the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship trophy after Texas won the team title Saturday in Minneapolis.
Instagram @Jake.Cornish

MINNEAPOLIS — The Texas men’s swimming and diving team wouldn’t have won its fourth consecutive NCAA national title on Saturday without the 13 points scored by diver Jacob Cornish.

The Longhorns beat California by 11.5 points Saturday to capture the 2018 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship in Minneapolis. Texas scored 449 points.

Cornish, who came out as gay on Instagram last month, finished 10th on 1-meter springboard (366.75 points) and 11th on platform (381.85). He earned honorable mention All-America honors in both events.

“This was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity of having,” Cornish said on Instagram. “I love this team, and I’m excited for the next two years with these boys!”

It is the sophomore’s first time earning All-America honors. He competed at last year’s NCAA championships but did not score points.

During Saturday’s platform competition, Cornish’s best dive came on his back 3 1/2 somersault tuck, which scored 85.8 points during the preliminary round.

“My stomach is in knots and I want to throw up every time he goes off. What fun,” Jacob’s mom, Missy Cornish, wrote on Facebook about the platform competition.

The 6-foot-1 diver’s best 1-meter springboard dive was his reverse 1 1/2 somersault 2 1/2 twist free, which scored 67.5 points during the consolation final.

"Thankfully, [Texas diving coach] Matt Scoggin brought his divers to this meet because we didn’t hit on all cylinders until about Friday night, then we started getting better,” Texas coach Eddie Reese said to Swimming World.

Princeton sophomore diver Charlie Minns, who is gay, also competed at the NCAA Championships. He finished 37th on 1-meter springboard (282.4), 38th on platform (280.3), and 44th on 3-meter springboard (300.55).

Minns’ scores are for six dives, while Cornish’s scores are for 12 dives since he competed in finals in both his events.

Openly gay coaches Nunzio Esposto (Duke men’s and women’s diving) and Patrick Jeffrey (Stanford men’s & women’s diving) had divers at the men’s and women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The women’s meet took place March 14-17, and the men’s meet was March 21-24.

Esposto coached Nathan Hernandez, Evan Moretti and MaryEllen Targonski to honorable mention All-America honors. Hernandez finished 12th on the men’s platform, Moretti took 13th on the men’s 1-meter springboard, and Targonski came in 16th in the women’s platform.

Jeffrey coached Kassidy Cook to fourth place in the women’s 3-meter springboard for All-America honors. The Stanford women’s swimming and diving team captured its second consecutive NCAA team title.

LGBTQ athletes Kennedy Lohman (sophomore, Texas women’s swimming) and G Ryan (senior, Michigan women’s swimming) competed at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

Lohman and Ryan both earned All-America honors.

Ryan picked up All-America honors by finishing sixth in the 1,650-yard freestyle (15 minutes, 50.95 seconds) and getting eighth in the 500 freestyle (4:42.46).

Lohman made the All-American team by helping the Longhorns’ 400 medley relay place sixth (3:30.61) and the 200 medley relay take eighth (1:36.49). Lohman also finished 20th in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.05) and 50th in the 200 breaststroke (2:13.12).

The Michigan women’s team came in fourth (267 points), and the Texas women took sixth place (221.5).

Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBTQ. Results are for competitions that took place March 12-25.

Division I

Nile Clark (senior, Miami men’s tennis) did not play the last two weeks as the Hurricanes went 1-2.

Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) scored 19 points to lead the Hokies (22-13 overall) to a 74-67 win against Alabama on Sunday in a WNIT quarterfinal. Virginia Tech faces West Virginia in a WNIT semifinal on Wednesday. On Sunday, Emery set the Hokies’ single-season field goal record, and she now has 218 for the season. In Virginia Tech’s WNIT second round game, Emery set the school’s single season scoring record with 23 points against George Mason on March 18, and after the Alabama win, Emery has 621 points this season. In the first round of the WNIT, Emery hit the game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds remaining to beat Navy 56-55 on March 16.

Dawson LaRance (freshman, Minnesota men’s track & field) finished fifth in the 800 meters (1 minute, 53.21 seconds) and helped the 4x400 relay take seventh at Arizona State’s Castillo Invitational on March 17 in the outdoor season opener. Brad Neumann (redshirt senior, Minnesota men’s track & field) exhausted his NCAA eligibility during indoor track & field season and will spend the outdoor season as a student coach.

Alexis Lewandowski (junior, IUPUI women’s track & field) took 27th in the 3,000 meters (10:57.13) at Butler’s Lyons Invitational on March 17 in the outdoor season opener.

Justice Lord (junior, Barton men’s volleyball) started all five matches as the Bulldogs (17-6 overall, 13-0 Conference Carolinas) went 5-0 the last two weeks. His best match included four kills, three digs and an ace in a three-set win against Erskine on March 16.

Michael Mitchell (freshman, Lehigh men’s track & field) finished sixth in the 3,000 meters at the UCF Black & Gold Challenge on March 17 in the outdoor season opener.

Jenny Allard (head coach, Harvard softball) led the Crimson (9-10 overall) to a 3-3 record the last two weeks.

Colin Christiansen (assistant coach, UMBC softball) saw the Retrievers (5-17 overall) go 3-4 the last two weeks.

Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) and Cale Robinson (assistant coach, Stanford women’s gymnastics) had their teams competing at the Pac-12 Conference meet March 24. UCLA won the Pac-12 team title with 197.5 points, and Stanford finished seventh (196.35). UCLA defeated San Jose State 198.275-194.85 in a dual meet March 13.

Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) saw the Gauchos (6-9 overall) lose 4-0 to No. 7-ranked Illinois on Saturday.

Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) helped the No. 4-ranked Bruins (27-2 overall) go 3-2 the last two weeks.

Division II

Alanna Carvalho (senior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) was on the field as the Chargers (6-3 overall) lost both games the last two weeks. Carvalho scored two goals in a 19-12 loss to No. 11-ranked Rollins on March 17.

Kylon Drones (senior, West Texas A&M men’s track & field) competed in four events at Saturday’s Kittley Invitational hosted by Abilene Christian University. His best results were a fifth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (14.66 seconds) and a sixth place in the high jump (6 feet, 3/4 inches).

Mark Johnson (assistant coach, Tampa baseball) saw the No. 7-ranked Spartans (22-5 overall) go 7-0 the last two weeks.

Lauren Lappin (assistant coach, Missouri-St. Louis softball) helped the Tritons (18-14 overall) go 4-4 the last two weeks.

Division III

Michael Drougas (senior, Oberlin men’s tennis) went 2-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles as the Yeomen (6-7 overall) went 2-1 the last two weeks.

Lindsey Farrell (junior, McDaniel women’s lacrosse) provided three goals and one assist as McDaniel beat Rochester 15-10 on March 18. The Green Terror (4-4 overall) went 1-2 the last two weeks.

Sam Knollmeyer (sophomore, Hamilton men’s lacrosse) did not play as the Continentals (1-6 overall) went 0-4 the last two weeks.

Harrison Knowlton (junior, Middlebury men’s cross country), Cal Neikirk (junior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field), Nick Vucovich (senior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) and Lucas White Moon (sophomore, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) competed at Saturday’s PLNU Collegiate Invitational. Knowlton took third in the 5,000 meters (14:56.41). Neikirk finished 10th in the javelin (129 feet, 5 1/2 inches). Vucovich came in 13th in the 800 (1:58.8). White Moon placed seventh in triple jump (43-4) and 10th in long jump (20-3 1/4). Middlebury won the 11-team meet, and Pomona-Pitzer finished fifth.

Nathan Matthews (junior, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) helped the Tigers (14-9 overall) go 3-1 the last two weeks. He had six digs total in the four matches.

Isaac Reed III (junior, Denison men’s track & field) finished ninth in triple jump (41-7 1/2) at the Washington & Lee Carnival on March 17 to start the outdoor season.

Matt Taylor (sophomore, Willamette men’s track & field) said he decided to discontinue his college athletic career at the end of the Willamette cross country season.

Andres Bustani (head coach, Rutgers-Newark men’s tennis coach) saw the Scarlet Raiders open the season by going 1-4 in matches. Bustani, a first-year coach, earned his first win Friday when Rutgers-Newark beat Pratt Institute 7-2. “It’s always great when you can get a win, especially that first one,” Bustani said in a press release. “We took care of business on most courts, which was great to see. We are hoping to build on this moving forward.”

Jen Moore (assistant coach, Swathmore softball) saw the Garnet (10-2 overall) go 7-1 the last two weeks.

Taylor Tvedt (assistant coach, Augsburg women’s lacrosse) helped the Auggies (5-3 overall) go 4-2 the last two weeks.

NAIA

Jaxon Cork (freshman, Clarke men’s volleyball) and Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) saw the Pride (13-15 overall) go 1-2 the last two weeks. Cork did not play in the three matches.

David Gilbert (redshirt senior, Lewis-Clark men’s track & field) finished 12th in the 800 meters (2:06.19) and 14th in the 1,500 (4:19.65) at the Buc Scoring Meet in Spokane, Washington, on March 17 to open the outdoor season. He finished 40th in the 1,500 (4:18.48) at Friday’s Sam Adams Classic.

NJCAA

Lexie Gerson (assistant coach, Harcum women’s basketball) saw the Bears (20-15 overall) end the season after going 0-2 at the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship in Harrison, Arkansas. No. 1-seed and eventual national champion Monroe beat Harcum 78-43 on March 20 in the opening round. No. 9 seed Ancilla beat Harcum 83-66 on March 22 in the consolation bracket.

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