Divers enjoy spotlight

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004


  Soldotna's Tory Coursen tucks into her fifth dive during the preliminary round of Thursday's Region III championships at Skyview Hgih School. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna's Tory Coursen tucks into her fifth dive during the preliminary round of Thursday's Region III championships at Skyview Hgih School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The divers had the pool to themselves Thursday night as they kicked off the competition in the Region III Swimming and Diving Championships at Skyview High School.

Soldotna's Tory Coursen said it was nice to start the meet with some relative peace and quiet.

"At practice, we have the swimmers with us all the time. We have to make sure we tune out all the sounds they're making," Coursen said.

With fewer distractions, Coursen and teammate Sasha Porter found themselves atop the girls standings after the preliminary and semifinal rounds of competition. Porter led the field with a score of 213.30 for her first eight dives while Coursen was second with 209.95.

In the boys competition, Kenai Central's Andy Knowles was second after the semifinal round with a score of 237.80, trailing Colony's Nick Wise, who earned a total score of 270.70. Skyview's Brian Hibberd was sixth with a score of 207.30.

The final three dives for each competitor will take place during Saturday's finals. Swimming preliminaries are scheduled to begin today at 3 p.m., with finals on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.

While Porter and Coursen were disappointed to see a couple of the region's better divers missing from the meet, both were pleased with their first day of competition.

"A couple of times, we made a few mistakes, but you just have to keep on going," Coursen said. "I didn't feel like I did any terrible dives."

Porter said she was happy to successfully complete her back 1 1/2.

"I'm just glad I didn't fail. I'm glad I made it around," Porter said.

Skyview's Jenny Andrus was seventh after Thursday's competition with a total score of 156.75, Homer's Lilly Lane was ninth with a score of 128.70 and Seward's Anna Clock was 10th with a score of 109.25.

Coursen and Porter said they'll be more relaxed the rest of the way. Divers have a practice session today, but instead of trying to fine-tune eight dives, they'll be working on just the three dives they'll perform in the finals. Porter added that with no classes today, they'll also be able to catch up on some sleep.

That will be a nice contrast for Porter, who said she was so nervous during Thursday's competition that she never even looked at the scoreboard.

"I didn't want to look at the scoreboard, get myself all hyped up and overdive," Porter said.

Thursday's diving preliminaries and semifinals

Scores through eight dives

1. Sasha Porter, Sol, 213.30; 2. Tory Coursen, Sol, 209.95; 3. Shereen Whitford, Col, 199.55; 4. Tiana Allen, Kod, 167.35; 5. Emery Tyler, Col, 163.25; 6. Candice Parsons, Col, 161.30; 7. Jenny Andrus, Sky, 156.75; 8. Diana Solenburger, Kod, 140.65; 9. Lilly Lane, Hom, 128.70; 10. Anna Clock, Sew, 109.25.

1. Nick Wise, Col, 270.70; 2. Andy Knowles, Ken, 237.80; 3. Brandon Gonski, Col, 222.45; 4. Jeremy Seterhoff, Was, 212.70; 5. Samson Neslund, Kod, 210.30; 6. Brian Hibberd, Sky, 207.30; 7. Ryan Hogan, Was, 194.05; 8. John Taylor, Hom, 181.10; 9. Nate Reichard, Was, 180.80; 10. Sterling Huntington, Pal, 168.95; 11. Chris McGinty, Was, 102.15; 12. Walter Moore, Sew, 95.65; 13. Cody Vetter, Col, 93.25; 14. Daniel Anderson, Sew, 78.45; 15. Stephen Pichotta, Sew, 43.50.

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