Despite taking the lead midway through Wednesday’s YAIAA diving championships, Northeastern’s Lindsey Pope knew that Erica Sarver would be on her tail.
After all, Sarver is the defending league and District 3 Class AA champ, and Pope placed second behind the West York junior at both events.
But in a role reversal, every time Sarver nailed a solid dive, Pope responded. Her final answer, on the last dive of the night, made Pope the champion.
“I just tried to stay confident. I know what a great diver Erica is,” said Pope, who finished with 417.45 points, only 4.4 ahead of Sarver.
While Pope led by 13.4 heading into the last attempt, Sarver scored a night-high 50.40 points on her last dive.
“I knew it was close,” Pope said. “I don’t really try to pay attention to the score. I just focus on what I can control and do my best.”
There was little such suspense in the boys’ competition, where Central York’s Garrett Sommer found his home pool to his liking and led wire-to-wire en route to his first YAIAA title.
“To be honest, I didn’t know how I got second last year,” Sommer said. “This was my life goal.”
Sommer totaled 388.05 points, finishing 69.35 in front of Panthers’ teammate Nick Cappella. Like Pope, Sommer also placed second at the league finals last season.
“I was really happy for Nick. I am so proud of him,” added Sommer.
Both champions received automatic bids to their respective upcoming District 3 meets. Pope in AA and Sommer in AAA.
Although only one girl and one boy from AA receive automatic berths, Sarver will likely receive an at large bid, so the two figure to battle once again for the top spot in the district.
In AA boys, Dover’s Jamie Kohler will head to districts after placing third at the league championship with 301 points.
New Oxford’s Rachel Groden, who took YAIAA bronze with a score of 355.10 will head to AAA districts, along with Central’s Emily Salter and Belle Hippensteel of Spring Grove, who finished fourth and sixth respectively on Wednesday. Northeastern’s Lauren Williamson was fourth and will also hope for an at large.
Joining Sommer and Cappella at the AAA boys’ championships will be Dustin Jones of Dallastown. Jones placed fourth with 294 points. Josh Freeze of Northeastern rounded out the top five.
YAIAA boys diving championship
1. Garrett Sommer, Central York 388.05; 2. Nick Capella, Central York, 318.70; 3. Jamie Kohler, Dover, 301.00; 4. Dustin Jones, Dallastown, 294.00; 5. Josh Freeze, Northeastern, 285.45; 6. Izaiah Bosse, South Western, 251.15; 7. Gabe DiMisa, New Oxford, 217.25; 8. Bryce Willett, Dallastown, 213.40; 9. John Lindsey, Northeastern, 203.75; 10. Cole Roberts, Spring Grove, 200.10.
YAIAA girls diving champions
1. Lindsey Pope, Northeastern, 417.45; Erica Sarver, West York, 413.05; Rachel Groden, New Oxford, 355.10; 4. Emily Salter, Central York, 339.10; 5. Lauren Williamson, Northeastern, 316.50; 6. Belle Hippensteel, Spring Grove, 302.60; 7. Lindsey Chatterton, Central York, 279.85; 8. Sophie Barnes, Dover, 273.35; 9. Kelsey Oswandel, Dallastown, 243.55; 10. Katie Sanders, New Oxford, 237.35; 11. Katie Weisz, South Western, 181.95.