Published: October 18, 2007 12:32 am

COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: O’Rourke dives head first into NU record book

Ian O’Rourke picked up in college where he left off in high school.

Two years ago.

As a junior at Grand Island High School, O’Rourke was the best diver in New York State and harbored ambitions of one day competing in the Olympics. He struggled as a senior, losing the Niagara Frontier League championship to North Tonawanda and failing to win the Section VI title for the first time in five years.

That didn’t prevent Niagara coach Ben Nigro from offering O’Rourke a full scholarship and predicting he would “make an immediate impact” with the Purple Eagles.

Looks like he was right.

On Saturday, O’Rourke graduate shattered a seven-year-old Niagara record, scoring 452.14 points on 11 dives. Andy Smith held the previous record, 394 points.

The performance, O’Rourke’s first as a Purple Eagle, came in the same Alumni Arena pool where O’Rourke trained with the UB Wings Club throughout high school.

O’Rourke’s best dive on Saturday was a front one-and-a-half somersault pike that earned two 8s, a pair of 7.5s and a 7 from the judges.