By Dave Pavlak
After years of hard work and countless dives, Amanda Burke, ’10, has officially been selected as part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Performance Squad.
Burke is one of the 26 divers who have been selected to take part in the program.
“I almost cried,” Burke said. “It’s really such an honor to be selected. It’s a great example of hard work paying off.”
Burke has been working toward this goal since she finished her time at Rider. She has a few more steps to take before achieving the ultimate goal of going to the Olympics.
“I’m just going to keep training,” she said. “I have a meet in May in Fort Lauderdale; it’s an international meet. After that I head up to Tallahassee and compete for world championship trials, where they select the divers who will be going to the world championships in Barcelona.”
In her four years at Rider, Burke dominated on the diving board, winning the Rider Athlete of the Year three times and qualifying for the NCAA nationals three times.
Burke also still holds the women’s MAAC diving records for the 1-meter dive, 3-meter dive (6) and 3-meter dive (11). At Rider, Burke holds the records for the 1-meter dive (6 dual), 1-meter dive (6 champ), 3-meter dive (6 dual), 3-meter dive (6 champ) and 3-meter dive (11 champ).
Burke currently trains in Virginia and works as a volunteer assistant diving coach at George Mason University, according to her Facebook page. Dennis Ceppa, also an assistant diving coach at George Mason, and a former Rider diving coach, is Burke’s personal coach.
“It was always a pleasure coaching Amanda,” Ceppa said in a 2011 article in The Rider News. “She was an extremely dedicated athlete and a very hard worker. She is as driven to reach her goals as any elite-level athlete I’ve known.”
Burke finished first at the AT&T National Diving Championships in 2011 in the 1-meter dive. The following year, she finished second in the same dive. Burke also finished third at the USA Diving Winter National Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2012.
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