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Nothing can be taken for granted

Last year, two classes saw change among the leaders in 10th and final round.

While everyone has their favorites heading into the District 2 diving championships, only one thing is clear. Anything can happen.

Winter weather pushed the schedule of the event back, forcing the Class 2A portion of the meet to be held on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Class 3A diving championships will now be held at 5 p.m. today, with both events at the Wilkes-Barre CYC.

Last year, between Class 2A and 3A, there were a record number of disqualifications – seven – leading to a shakeup in the final standings. Even one missed step amongst the athletes’ 10 dives can lead to a low score and put them out of the running for a spot on the podium.

That was evident in both boys and girls competition last season.

In the boys Class 3A competition last year, Troy Sayles held a lead for nine of the 10 dives over teammate Justin Christopher of Delaware Valley. The final dive proved to be the undoing for Sayles, though, as he failed his final attempt and had to settle for a second-place finish.

Almost the same scenario played out in the girls Class 2A event. Erica Lisses of Dallas led for nearly the entire competition with teammate Mariel Adams on her tail. The final round found Adams in trouble, though, and Alicia Bryk of Pittston Area capitalized on Adams’ low-scoring dive to claim second place for the meet.

There are a healthy number of new faces among this year’s entrants; this year’s District 2 Diving Championships should serve up an equal portion of exciting finishes as last year did.

The following is a breakdown of this weekend’s field with each diver’s finish last season in parentheses.

CLASS 2A Girls

Who to look out for: Returning place-winners Erica Lisses (1) and Mariel Adams (3) have been pushed all season by the emergence of freshman diver Sara Skammer, but don’t count out Coughlin’s Morgan Popple (4) or Lindsay Dunsmuir (5) to jump a place or two from last season. Holy Redeemer junior Laura Panzitta (8) has also shown great improvement this season. Look for her to be in the mix.

On the Bubble: Maggie Tibus, Wyoming Area (7); Leanne Kavulich, Valley View (12); Michelle Iscovitz, Wyoming Area (13); Katie Thomas, Holy Redeemer (14); Kaylee Grella, Holy Redeemer (15); Yvonne Long, Tunkhannock (16); Monica Simon, West Scranton; Courtney Konowall, Coughlin; Alyssa Scatena, Pittston Area.

Boys

Who to look out for: In Class 2A, the spotlight is undoubtedly on last year’s winners and state place-winners, Kenny Alguire (1) and Tommy Kolodzieski (2) of Tunkhannock Area. They’ll be competing with Lehman’s Jesse Jayne (6) and Kenny Bryden of Wyoming Area (5). Dallas freshman Mike Stec has also been a surprise this season, scoring above 200 in a six-dive meet several times.

On the Bubble: Ryan Thomas, Hanover Area (8); Ludovic Marcel, West Scranton; P.J. Filipski, Valley View; Jake Baker, Lake-Lehman; Cody Sickler, Elk Lake; Dan Ayers, Tunkhannock; Ed Curtain, Berwick.

CLASS 3A Girls

Who to look out for: Hazleton Area junior Arielle Burger (1) and Abington Heights sophomore Alexa Dziak (2) will be favored to earn return trips to Bucknell today, but Wyoming Valley West has a trio of talented divers looking to squeeze into the top five. Look for Spartan divers Sarah Hodakowski, Nour Elbattah (6) and Megan Chan (5) to place high.

On the Bubble: Colleen Cannon, Scranton (7); Alex Bachman, Hazleton Area; Caroline Cowley, Abington Heights; Madeline Beattie, Williamsport; Kelli Labashosky, Wyoming Valley West; Kristen Stauffer, Hazleton Area.

Boys

Who to look out for: Last season’s winner, Justin Christopher (1) of Delaware Valley, returns for defense of his crown. Also figuring into the mix will be Scranton’s Tim McCormick (3), Abington Heights’ T.J. Burns (4) and Williamsport’s Ivan Valentine.

On the Bubble: Nick Needle, Wyoming Valley West (7); Andrew Auman, Williamsport (8); Austin Brodeur, Hazleton Area (9); Andrew Vellekamp, Delaware Valley (10); Ryan Weidick, Hazleton Area (11); Gordon Titus, Williamsport; Ben Mitchell, Delaware Valley; Paul Shannon, Williamsport; Jeremy Pryal, Scranton; Mark Moran, Scranton; Paul Tayoun, Hazleton Area.

UP NEXT: District 2 Diving Championships

at the Wilkes-Barre CYC

Today

Class 3A: Preliminaries begin at 5 p.m. Semifinals and finals* to follow.

Sunday

Class 2A: Preliminaries begin at 5 p.m. Semifinals and finals* to follow.

*The top two finishers in each class advance to the PIAA State Championships at Bucknell University March 12-15.

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