Friday, June 23, 2000

Trostel strong in diving finale

Fusaro shines; Powers, Ruehl compete tonight

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — One would say Angie Trostel wanted to go out with a big splash, but this is diving, where the object is to leave the least possible ripple. And so she went quietly, gracefully.

        Retirement came at 1:14 a.m. Thursday when Trostel nailed a reverse 11/2 twister, then walked over to hug Charlie Casuto, her Cincinnati Stingrays coach of the past 13 years.

        The next embrace went to teammate Nicci Fusaro. It was a passing of the torch, albeit not an Olympic one.

        “This couldn't be better timing for her,” Trostel said. “She's 18 and already at the Olympic Trials. I'll be going to the next Trials to watch her.”

        Trostel, a 23-year-old from Oxford, capped one of the finest careers in Stingrays history early Thursday with a solid seventh-place finish in the Trials' 3-meter springboard event at the King County Aquatic Center. Fusaro, an Anderson High grad and Southern Cal signee, placed 10th.

        Jenny Keim and Michelle Davison were near-perfect in securing the berths accorded the top two finishers. There was no cause for consternation in Casuto's camp; Trostel and Fusaro dove well. Two more Stingrays compete tonight in the 10-meter platform preliminaries and semifinals. Kim Powers, a 20-year-old from Crestview Hills, Ky., tries to atone for a 17th-place finish on the 3-meter. And Becky Ruehl, the 23-year-old from Lakeside Park, Ky., who dove this event in the 1996 Olympics, tries to reprise those heights. But with Trostel retiring, Ruehl unlikely to continue for the next Trials and Powers also questionable for 2004, the focus of the future is Fusaro. The tiny talent — 5-foot-4, 105 pounds — made a name for herself in this meet.

        “Nicci did very, very well, but I'm not really that surprised,” Casuto said. “She has the talent to compete with nearly anyone.”

        Fusaro said she owes a lot to Trostel, her practice partner, road roommate and friend. “I couldn't have made it without her,” Fusaro said. “We pushed each other to get here.”

        Trostel, a Talawanda High grad and five-time U.S. national team member, is moving to Chicago. She anticipates staying in her sport through coaching or judging.

        That didn't make the moment easier after her last dive when the normally stoic Casuto said, “You know, I think I'm going to miss you.”

        “It's tough leaving, but I have no regrets whatsoever,” Trostel said. “It's been a great ride.”


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