Chambersburg's Nick Cover was a top state diver even before he got his drivers license. Now a junior, Cover eyes top state and national competition. Some video submitted by Nick Cover. Video by Lindsey Smith
Chambersburg's Nick Cover had two goals heading into Saturday's District 3 Class 3A diving championships.
1. Improve on last year's finish: Check.
2. Break the Trojan school record: Check.
Cover improved on his 2016 district finish by nearly 80 points and one place, and broke a Chambersburg school record that has stood for more than 18 years.
His score of 523.80 was good enough for a silver medal and took down Dustin Boone's 1999 record of 510.35 points.
"That was a really big improvement," Cover said. "I increased my (diving difficulty) with a few of my dives, and I just had a much better meet than last year. I chose to do some harder dives because I was going for the school record."
Going into his final dive, Cover was informed by Trojan diving coach Ryan Crider that he was very close to breaking it, and Cover easily rose to the occasion.
"I just hit the dive and it felt really good," he said. "Coming out of the water, I was smiling, and I could hear my coach clapping in the background. It was a really good feeling."
Crider said, "To me, it really shows what he put into his program. Nick has really pushed himself since Mid Penns up to districts. He really worked on cleaning up all his entries."
What was really impressive about Cover's day was the dive he added to increase his difficulty, an inward two somersault, was actually his best dive of the day.
"His twisting dives, as usual, were very strong for him, but today, he just had a very strong program from start to finish," Crider said. "It's really hard to pinpoint just one of them."
Cover was also proud of the fact that he received a 10 from one of the judges on his reverse dive - the only 10 given to any competitor all day.
With two-time reigning champion Jake Hedrick, of Hershey, bound for graduation this year, Cover is looking for a potential gold medal next season. But there's still PIAAs to think about; the state meet takes place March 18 at Bucknell University.
"Our goal is fifth or higher," Crider said. "Over the next two weeks, we're just going to strengthen a few more of his dives. Right now, he has a strong program, but if we see something we can tweak up to one more dive higher, we may even try to sneak in a new dive to increase his diving difficulty even more."
Cover said, "I'm feeling really positive going into states. I just gotta know that during the meet, I have to pretend like it's practice. If I miss a dive slightly, I gotta know I can come back and do better on the next one."