The freshman phenom was named a Diving All-American by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association last week after rewriting the school record books and finishing second at the Class AAAA-A state meet in his first high school campaign.
Moncino was one of 100 divers and nine freshmen in the nation on the list. He is the first male diver and first freshman of either gender to receive the honor at Pace.
“He’s gotten where he has now with his hard work and determination to improve, and he likes being on top so he does what he has to do to get there,” Pace coach John Ague said.
Only three other Georgians were named All-Americans, including recent Westminster graduate Frank Love, who won the state diving championship this season with a score of 508.55.
Moncino was not far behind him, finishing with a 479.5 on his 11 dives. That nearly matched the school record of 480.4 he’d set at Pace’s Last Chance meet in January.
“I’m going to try and go for a state championship the next three years, and also go for All-American the next three years. I focus on always trying to improve and the fun is in trying to get more points, get better and beating other people,” he said with a laugh.
Moncino’s been diving for nearly 10 years and has trained extensively under John Ames, Georgia Tech’s head diving coach, with the Atlanta Diving Association club team. He credits Ames with helping him make significant strides over the past 18 months.
“He’s definitely made me better at technique and looking more at the slight details instead of the whole,” Moncino said. “I know most of the dives that I do, all I need to do is work on technique and all the little details that make sevens turn into eights, which will turn into nines, which hopefully will turn into 10s.”
One of his most complicated dives is what he calls a “reverse 1½, 1 ½”, where he does a reverse back flip toward the board, a 1½ twist and then dives in.
“It’s also one of my favorites because it’s fun and interesting,” he said. “The judges like it.”
“For him to be the level that he’s at as a freshman, you don’t see it very often,” Pace diving coach Jim Ebert said in February. “He’s got amazing talent.”