Facility Update: The Y will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27

New Canaan YMCA

Whirlwind Diving Team

Whirlwind Diving Team

Whirlwind Diving Program

whirlwind section


The Whirlwind Diving program has over 200 athletes from the beginner to the elite level. We welcome new divers in every age group and at every level.  Our goal is to help each and every participant develop proper mechanics, have fun, and meet their personal goals–whether they are novice, recreational, or Junior Olympic athletes.  Led by a highly experienced coaching staff, divers are grouped and trained in the below competitive and non-competitive levels.

Non-Competitive Whirlwind Diving Programs

Level 1: Bronze (Ages 9 & Under)

A non-competitive group designed for beginners who are either first-time divers or have a limited diving skill set. Participants do not attend competitions. Program runs as 3-month sessions starting in starting mid-September.  Practice commitment: one, two, or three days per week for 45 minutes.

Level 1 Spring/Summer Session: Begins Monday, April 29-Thursday, July 18. Participants can register for one or two days per week. Contact Deb Isidro by email to register.

Level 2: Silver (Ages 13 & Under)

Designed for divers who have mastered basic diving skills and have a limited list of dives. Program runs as 3-month sessions starting in starting mid-September. Practice commitment: one, two or three days per week for 75 minutes. Contact Deb Isidro by email to register.

Level 2 Spring/Summer Session: Begins Monday, April 29-Thursday, July 18. Participants can register for one or two days per week. Contact Deb Isidro by email to register.

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.

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

Our Junior Olympic (JO) team competes nationally and has won 14 YMCA National Titles.  Boasting the camaraderie and support of a team, divers have tremendous opportunity to grow within the sport and reach their goals by competing at the local, regional, and national levels. Levels are by coaches’ invitation.

Level 3: Gold (Ages 11+)

For divers who have competed in a summer league program and are looking for a friendly competitive environment to improve their skills. New divers will need an evaluation from the coaching staff to begin at this level. Program runs as 3-month sessions starting in starting mid-September.  Practice commitment: Two or Three Days per week for 75 Minutes.

Level 4*

Entry level JO program. Divers must commit to two days per week for the school year. This is our first level of the JO Team. Level 4 will practice with Level 5.

Level 5*

Entry level JO program. Divers must commit to three days per week for the school year. This is our first level of the JO team. Level 5 practices with Level 4.

Level 6*

YMCA/AAU team. This level is for divers who have attended or would like to attend the YMCA National Meet and AAU-sanctioned competitions.

Level 7*

High School JO is designed for the diver whose top priority is high school diving. Training will be primarily on the one meter. This a school year program offered in three-month increments or the full school year session. YMCA/AAU-sanctioned events could apply.

Level 8*

USA Diving Regional Team/AAU Travel Team/YMCA National Team. This level is for divers whose priority is AAU and USA Diving. These divers are interested in diving in college. This program runs September through the end of July.

Level 9*

USA Diving Regional Team/AAU Travel Team/YMCA National Team. This level is for divers whose priority is AAU and USA Diving. These divers are interested in diving in college. This program runs September through the end of July.

Level 10*

Our elite-level divers who have proven themselves at USA Diving, AAU-sanctioned events, and/or YMCA Nationals. These divers have chosen diving as their primary sport and train at least four days a week in addition to morning workouts. These divers will continue competing in college.


*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.

Competitive Team Evaluations

New Whirlwind Diving team members must schedule an evaluation with Coach Adam Vance. Please contact Adam Vance 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.

Online Registration & Program Brochures

Whirlwind Head Coaches

Joe Somma June 2018 1

Joe Somma

Competitive Diving Director / Head Coach
Phone: 203-920-1659
Email: [email protected]

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

Adam Vance

Associate Diving Director
Phone: 203-920-1658
Email: [email protected]

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.

Whirlwind Alumni

Class of 2023
Ben Bradley – George Washington University
Alex Friedman – Colby College
Mia Guster – Lafayette College
Kaitlyn Maggio – Miami University (Ohio)
Natalie Penman – Bucknell University
Jayden Satir – Southern Connecticut State University
Kate Whitaker – Lehigh University
Kate Wittenauer – Fairfield University

Class of 2022
Lauren Delucia – College of the Holy Cross
Jack Holland – Harvard University
Jack Krug – Bucknell University
Lucas Madriaga – University of Delaware
Matthew Magnotta – Williams College
Ella Olafsson – Colgate University
Olivia Quinn – Davidson College

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