March 10, when Juliana DiPlacido begins one- and three-meter diving
competition at the three-day NCAA Diving Regional in Annapolis, MD, she will
make history as the first Blue Devil Division I student-athlete to compete
in the NCAA Championships in two different sports.
DiPlacido won the one-meter (253.90 points) and three-meter events (457.30
points) at the Northeast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in
Landover, MD. Her NEC record-setting performance on the three-meter board
qualified her for the one-meter, three-meter, and platform events at the
DiPlacido was recruited by women’s soccer coach Mick D’Arcy, with
credentials that included playing defense for the Canadian U-19 National
Soccer Team and forward for a club team.
D’Arcy also knew that DiPlacido had been a competitive diver and that Bill
Ball, CCSU’s new head swimming coach, was short on numbers. “Jules is a very
versatile athlete. I knew she had been a diver, so I approached her about
diving for CCSU, and she said she’d think about it,” said D’Arcy.
It didn’t take DiPlacido, a four-time Canadian Junior National diving
champion, long to decide to become a two-sport athlete at Central and really
put her versatility on display.
“Juliana’s accomplishments have certainly made our program more visible and
definitely bring more credibility to our program,” noted Ball, who coached
the Blue Devils to a second-place finish at the NEC Championship. “She is a
competitor, and her presence has helped us achieve our status in the
“Juliana was more focused this year,” diving coach Dave Maliar said. “You
could see it in her face and in the way she was diving. At the NEC
Championship, it was straight business.
“Juliana’s accomplishments have given us more recognition,” said Ball.
“We’ve had a bit of spotlight on us this season, which helps us with
recruiting for both swimming and diving.”
DiPlacido’s sister, Alida, a junior diver for Texas A&M, is a red-shirt this
season. Her impressive collegiate accomplishments include being the only
diver to place in the top-eight in the one-meter, three-meter, and platform
events at the NCAA Championships.
Juliana, a business major with a solid 3.00 GPA over the past two semesters,
was the 2003 NEC champion in both one-meter (194.85) and three-meter
(414.55) boards. As a sophomore, she won the NEC gold medal in the one-meter
(258.30), and she took the silver on the three-meter (421.60) board. She
also has a lock on the NEC Outstanding Diver Award, taking home the
inaugural award in 2004 and making it two-in-a-row in 2005.
“Jules is multi-talented. She has god-given talents,” D’Arcy said of the
three-year starter, who has helped the Blue Devils to three-straight NEC
soccer crowns. In 2003, she helped the Blue Devils to the University’s
first-ever NCAA Division I tournament victory—a 1-0 defeat of Boston
College. The Blue Devils advanced to meet UConn, with the Huskies scoring a
3-2 victory in double overtime.
“We give her the opportunity to work, improve and display her talents,”
D’Arcy said. “She is an exceptional athlete. She is quiet and unassuming on
the field, but gets things done in a very efficient manner. She is a role
model for our other players. Her level of consistency is the same, day-in
— Kathleen Pulek
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