Facility Update: The Y will be closed on Monday, 9/6 for Labor Day to allow our employees to enjoy the holiday with their family and friends. Looking to squeeze in a workout
or for some fun activities for kids and families? Check out the brand-new library of virtual classes and activities available to New Canaan YMCA members at www.ymca360.org.

Competitive Aquatics

Whirlwind Diving Team

Beginning in 1997, our program has over 200 athletes from the beginner to the elite level. We welcome new divers in every age group and at every level. Athletes are grouped and trained in the below competitive and non-competitive levels. Our goal is to help each and every participant develop proper mechanics, have fun, and meet their personal objectives–whether they are novice, recreational, or Junior Olympic athletes.

Non-Competitive Whirlwind Diving Programs: Bronze, Silver, & Gold

Level 1: Bronze (Ages 11 & Under)
Bronze Team is a non-competitive group designed for beginners who have no background or a limited skill set in diving. Participants do not attend competitions. Ages are 11 and under and new to the sport. 3-month sessions starting mid-September. Commitment: One, Two or Three Days per Week for 45 Minutes.

Level 2: Silver (Ages 11 & Under)
Silver Team is designed for divers who have mastered basic diving skills and have a limited list of dives. Age is 11 and under. 3-month sessions starting mid-September. Commitment: One, Two or Three Days per Week for 75 Minutes.

Level 3: Gold (Ages 11+)
Gold Team is for divers who have competed in a summer league program and are looking for friendly competitive environment to improve on their skills. New divers will need an evaluation from the coaching staff to begin at this level. Ages are 11 and over. 3-month sessions starting mid-September. Commitment: Two or Three Days per Week for 75 Minutes.

Competitive Whirlwind Diving Programs: Junior Olympic Team (Invitation Only)

Our JO team competes at a national level, and has won 14 YMCA National Titles. Current divers include past champions at USA Diving national meets such as, Junior Nationals, Age Groups, and East Nationals. The team returns several high school All-Americans, nine Summer Junior National qualifiers, and thirteen qualifiers for Spring East Nationals.

Level 4*
This level is for divers on track to becoming part of our Junior Olympic squad. Divers at this level will attend competitions with the team.

Levels 5 & 6*
These levels are designed for the athlete whose top priority is high school diving. Training will focus on their one meter diving. This level is a school year program.

Levels 7 & 8*
These levels are our YMCA/AAU National Team, and is for divers who attend the YMCA and/or AAU National Championship. Divers in this level will have the opportunity to attend a USA Diving regional championship as well.

Levels 9 & 10*
These levels are our elite levels for divers who have qualified for USA Diving Junior National events, have been selected to an All-American team, and have a competitive junior platform list.

*Please note: Levels 4-10 need an evaluation from the coaching staff prior to beginning the program. Please contact Adam Vance at 203-920-1658 to schedule an evaluation.

Diving Lessons

Diving Lessons are 45-minute sessions for children interested in trying out the sport of diving before committing to a full session. Please contact Adam Vance at 203-920-1658 to schedule a session or evaluation.

New Divers

New Whirlwind Diving team members must schedule an evaluation with Coach Adam Vance. Please contact Adam at 203-920-1658 to schedule the evaluation. The evaluation fee of $50 must be paid at the front desk PRIOR to the evaluation. Please bring receipt to pool deck.

Whirlwind Diving Parents Association

As the parents of Whirlwind divers, we stay actively involved in our children’s experiences by providing support and services outside practice times. Throughout the year, the Parents Association organizes programs and events to help build community and support the goals of the program. Families take mentorship roles to help new families become acclimated to the world of competitive diving. In addition, the Parents Association sponsors fundraising events/meets, which give significant financial support to the Whirlwind program. Parents are encouraged to be involved and be a positive presence at practices, meets, and all Whirlwind functions.

Head Coach: Joseph Somma
2020-2021 Parents Association Members: Scott Bradley and Jennifer Gravgaard

Whirlwind Coaches

Joe Somma

Competitive Diving Director / Head Coach
Phone: 203-920-1659
Email: jsomma@newcanaanymca.org

Joseph J. Somma is the head coach of the Whirlwind Diving team at the New Canaan YMCA, which he founded in 1997. Joe grew up diving at the Newfield Swim & Tennis Club, was a high school All-American stand-out at Stamford High School, and went on to Clemson University, where he lettered in diving for four years and was a four-time NCAA zone qualifier, an All-American candidate, an All Atlantic Coast Conference champion, and a team captain. Joe brings a wealth of experience to the team as he completes his 22nd year of coaching. Joe was awarded the Robert Moss Award in 2001, for his numerous contributions to diving. He is a lifetime member of USA Diving, and is the Junior Olympic representative for the state of Connecticut for this organization. During his time at the New Canaan Y, Joe has also coached many top divers including four JO champions and three Team USA representatives that competed at meets such as the British Elite Championships and the Canadian/American Challenge, and one member of the Junior Elite Program. His teams have included over 50 High School All Americans.

In addition to the Whirlwind team, Joe coaches the New Canaan High School team, the Wilton High School team, Ridgefield High School, the New Canaan Field Club team, and the Newfield Swim & Tennis team. Joe’s enthusiasm, coupled with his knowledge of the sport, make him a dynamic and successful coach for divers of all levels.

Adam Vance

Associate Diving Director
Phone: 203-920-1658
Email: avance@newcanaanymca.org

Adam Vance is in his eighth season as the Associate Director of Diving with Whirlwind Diving at the New Canaan YMCA.  He is from Pennsylvania, where he began diving at 10-years-old in the Philadelphia area. While diving with LaSalle Diving Club, he was an eight time junior national qualifier and finalist, Pennsylvania State High School Champion and named to the All-American team. After high school, he competed for LaSalle University and earned Atlantic 10 Athlete of the Year. After LaSalle, he continued his collegiate diving career, with Dr. Ronn Jenkins, at West Chester University.  Adam went on to become a Division II All-American diver, and national medalist.

He has coached all levels of diving, and understands what it takes to become a successful junior diver from his own experience as a diver and coach. Through his fundamentals first philosophy, Adam strives for each diver to be challenged by continuing to learn through a positive and safe path. In addition to the physical training, he hopes all of the athletes leave the program with better life skills such as time management, communication, resilience, and philanthropy.

Adam has also coached at Darien High School, where he has had five state champions. During his tenure at Darien, five different divers achieved All-American status. In addition, he is the Head Diving Coach at Sacred Heart University, and is currently coaching in the Fairfield County Swimming and Diving League in the summers.


Jeanine Oburchay

Assistant Diving Coach

Jeanine began her diving coaching career in 1984, coaching summers in the Westchester County Swim Conference at the Windmill Club in Armonk, and later coaching for several summers in the Northern Westchester Swimming Conference at Briarcliff. Jeanine was a high school and age group diver and went on to dive at Division 1 Fordham University. After graduating college in 1987, Jeanine stayed on at Fordham, assisting her coach Bill Zipf at the Rose Hill Diving age group club until 1992. After a hiatus from coaching, Jeanine returned to the pool deck in 2005, coaching summers in the Fairfield County Swim League at The Patterson Club in Fairfield, coaching the Weston High School Girls’ and Boys’ Diving Teams and coaching the Fairfield Prep diving team. In 2005, she also joined the coaching staff at Next Generation Diving team, which trained at Yale University’s Kiphuth Pool. In 2010, Jeanine took over the ownership and management of Next Generation Diving, which was then renamed Dive Haven. Jeanine left Dive Haven to join the coaching staff of Whirlwind Diving in 2017. In addition to her work with us, Jeanine is a certified yoga instructor and works full time as an equity research compliance officer. Jeanine lives in Bridgeport with her husband, 2 dogs and way too many chickens.

Whirlwind Alumni

Class of 2021
Charlotte Frank – Tulane University
Elizabeth Katl – University of Connecticut
Rachel Kirby – University of Jamestown
Lucas Madariaga – Whirlwind Diving Intern
Joel Satir – Seton Hall University
Peter Soares – Drexel University
Brennan Vincent – Auburn University

Class of 2020
Jackson Camporin – Trinity College
Katelyn Cerulli – College of the Holy Cross
Emma Gravgaard – University of Pittsburgh
Emma Hunter – Denison University
Elisabeth Katz – University of Connecticut
Katie Laverty – Harvard University
Amy Malburg – Fordham University
Suzy Malburg – Santa Clara University
George Moore – United States Naval Academy
James Ragusa – University of Massachusetts
Julia Servas – University of Delaware
Farrah Volpintesta – University of Southern California
Marra Woodring – Penn State University

Class of 2019
Kevin Bradley – University of Michigan
Loni Foodman – West Point Military Academy
Samantha Ho – Yale University
Caitlin Inall – George Washington University
Claire Ross – Boston College
Elena Savas – Claremont McKenna College

Class of 2018
Anne Farley – Claremont McKenna College
Sophia Rapp – Clemson University
Wiley Schmidt – Florida Atlantic University
Sergei Shaw – LaSalle University
Owen Stevens – Yale University

Class of 2017
Alison Courtney – University of Wisconsin
Timmy Luz – Yale University
Cameron Rhind – University of Pennsylvania
Katie Kushner – Emory University
Kylie Schaeffer – University of Southern California

Class of 2016
Rachel Burston – North Carolina State University
Eliza Donovan – Lehigh University
Sophia Stanley – Pennsylvania State University
Griffin Edmonds – Georgetown University
Steven Kreuch – Williams College
Caleigh Kupersmith – University of Virginia
Jennifer Schrenker – Villanova University
Melinda Henesy – University of San Diego

Class of 2015
Andrew Bologna – University of Pennsylvania
Lee Christensen – Duke University
Kyle O’Donnell – Susquehanna University
Olivia Park – University of North Carolina
Kirsten Parkinson – University of Virginia
Kayla Pech – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kylie Towbin – University of Virginia

Class of 2014
Jake Bowtell – University of Virginia
Sean Burston – University of North Carolina
Molly Klein – Colgate University
Matt Mintz – Union College
Bobby Ross – Harvard

Class of 2013
Bridget Zaleski – University of Delaware
Ariana Ross – Williams College
Meredith Jonker – Cornell

Class of 2012
Katie Warburg – University of Virginia
Danielle Denunzio – Yale
Katie Holland – Old Dominion

Class of 2011
Lauren Kahan – Georgetown University
Zachary Slater – Penn State
Amanda Molinelli – Brown University
Adriana Baker – Middlebury College

Class of 2010
Sami Bloom – Tufts University
Kara Capossela – University of Maine
Mika Cucullo – Babson College
Annabel Enquist – Emory University
Bianca Herlitz-Ferguson – Cornell University
Manita Herlitz-Ferguson – Cornell University
Meg Kratky – Dartmouth College
Alex Leinroth – University of Virginia
Hannah Singer – Northwestern University
Danil Tyulmankov – University of Massachusetts

Class of 2009
Chloe Ring – Bucknell University
Cassandra Ring – Wake Forest

Class of 2008
Carolyn DiMarco – University of Connecticut
Jillian Hirsch – Cornell University
Philip Morehouse – University of Arizona
Brad Schott – University of Connecticut
Kate Starrett – Boston College
Carlin Dacey – Northwestern

Class of 2007
John Clark – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
David MacDonald – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
J.J. Rogener – Cornell University

Class of 2006
Brian Brockunier – University of Maryland

Class of 2005
Charlie Razook – Princeton University
Jenny Goldberg – University of Southern California
Sara Carlson – Lehigh University
Cameron Murphy – Yale University

Class of 2004
April Nizlek – Columbia University
Jennifer Miata – Clemson University
Greg Sinche – Bates College

Class of 2003
Kylie Calzone – University of Connecticut
Allison Coleman – University of Connecticut
Alanna Hanson – Middlebury College
Dylan Korn – Rider College
Julianne Mifflin – Dartmouth College
Steven Ratner – University of Connecticut

Class of 2002
Mike Klein – Emory University
Casey Topol – University of Kansas
Matt Belanger – University of California at Berkeley

Class of 2001
Tara Baird – Georgetown University
Catherine Ceresa – -Duke University
Erin Lashnits – Stanford University
Corey Pagnotta – Penn State
Eric Schulik – Clemson University
Laura Shaw – Middlebury College

Class of 2000
Courtney Campbell – Middlebury College
Katy Fishback – University of Wisconsin
Megan Harris – University of Virginia

Class of 1999
Meghan Devine – Loyola College
Andy Gabel – Duke University
Ben Hopkins – Amherst College
Charles Rathkopf – Colgate University
Greg Simoneau – Springfield College
Kieran Smythe – University of North Carolina-Wilmington/Iona College
Meghan Devine – Loyola College

Class of 1998
Katherine Mattison – Princeton University