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Sarver, Sommer repeat as YAIAA champions

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As Wednesday’s YAIAA diving championships wore on, the most suspenseful thing may have been which defending champ — Erica Sarver of West York or Garrett Sommer of host Central York — would finish with the higher score.

Both had already distanced themselves from their competition.

In the end, it was Sarver that posted the higher score, but that didn’t matter to Sommer, who won his second straight YAIAA title with a school-record 419.70 points.

“At one point, I was like, ‘Dang, we are really close.’ She pulled out on me in the end and that’s fine,” said Sommer.

Earlier in the season, the senior Sommer broke the Panthers’ six-dive scoring record and two weeks ago, snapped the 11-dive mark at Cumberland Valley. He really wanted to break the record again in his home pool at Central.

“This was something I really wanted because it’s my last time ever (competing) here,” he said. “I might break it another time at districts and states, but the fact I broke it here, if it’s the last time, I am perfectly fine with.”

Sarver won her third straight YAIAA championship, finishing with 442.05 points. The senior said she didn’t feel any pressure entering the meet as a two-time defending champ.

“I have been diving pretty well. I just wanted to come in, dive a nice clean list and not try to do anything fancy,” she said. “My goal was to stay clean throughout everything.  I was just trying to focus on how well I performed my dives.

“I tried to do my best and not worry about the scores as much. Everything was pretty clean and I didn’t bomb anything, so I am very, very pleased with my performance.”

Sarver never trailed, scoring 33 points on her opening dive. By the time the preliminary five-dive round finished, she had opened a 32.30 point lead on Northeastern’s Lauren Williamson, who placed second with a score of 359.60.

Perhaps the most important part of the night for Sarver was how her sister, Bulldogs’ sophomore Maya Sarver, performed. Maya came in third with a score of 286.20.

“She’s my best friend and just seeing her succeed just makes me a very proud big sister,” Erica Sarver said. “I was more nervous for her than I was for myself. For her first counties, it’s amazing. I am excited to see where she goes next year.”

Sommer said he felt a little pressure, but was ready for it.

“I felt there was a little bit of an expectation to live up to,” he said. “I couldn’t do worse, but knowing it was going to happen how it happened. No matter what, I worked hard and I knew it was all right.”

One of the night’s biggest questions was who would finish second in the boys’ competition as Izaiah Bosse of South Western and Dover’s Jud Pequignot battled back-and-forth most of the night.

Bosse, who actually led Sommer after two dives, was second through four dives, before Pequignot jumped into second. The Eagles’ freshman stayed there through the sixth dive, before Bosse passed him and finished second with 259.45 points. Pequignot scored 252.55 for bronze.

YAIAA Girls’ Diving Championships: 1. Erica Sarver, West York, 442.05; 2. Lauren Williamson, Northeastern, 359.60; 3. Maya Sarver, West York, 286.20; 4. Kirsten Taylor, Central York, 282.25; 5. Sophie Barnes, Dover, 280-70; 6. Hannah Lieberknecht, Dover, 261.70; 7. Zoe Mendlowitz, Central York, 260.75; 8. Ella Baugher, South Western, 228.75; 9. Kirstin Wonder, Spring Grove, 214.00; 10. Katie Weisz, South Western, 195.55.

YAIAA Boys Diving Championships: 1. Garrett Sommer, Central York, 419.70; 2. Izaiah Bosse, South Western, 259.45; 3. Jud Pequignot, Dover, 252.55; 4. Si Barnes, Dover, 217.95; 5. Bryce Willett, Dallastown, 204.30. DNF: Matt Miller, South Western.