North Penn’s Paige Burrell dove to her first District One Class AAA diving title Saturday afternoon, compiling a score of 530.30 at the Rick Carroll Natatorium.
“I didn’t look at my score or where I was at in the standings at all but I saw how great everyone was diving and my first five dives weren’t the greatest,” said Burrell, close to perfect in the later rounds. “I felt like I got stronger as the meet went on.”
The sophomore topped second-place Nicole Costello of Pennsbury (509.85) for top honors, with the Knights placing three divers in the top four and four in the top eight.
“Now I have so much confidence going into states,” said Burrell, “and my goal there is to do my best.
“I was especially happy with my last dive, my front two and a half,” the sophomore said. “I think I really finished off strong with that one.”
That made it a sweep on the boards for the Knights, who got a win in the boys competition on Friday from Bryce Hoch, his second in as many years.
This also marked the third straight year North Penn grabbed the gold at the girls event — Marie Yacopino (San Diego State) won the district title in 2015 and 2016.
Bronze-medal honors went to the Knights’ Meghan Wenzel on Saturday, as she scored a 488.55, and fourth place went to teammate Madalyn Freece, who finished with 471.95.
The Knights had a total of four divers medal, as Callie Smith placed eighth with a 437.60. The defending state champs racked up 52 points at the event, giving them an early jump on the competition next week at La Salle.
Sarah Stim of Central Bucks West scored some points for the Bucks, placing ninth with a 426.30, and Upper Dublin’s Kelly Regan was 13th with a 389.05. Also, Abington’s Celia Henke was 14th with a 365.95 and Methacton’s Camaryn Rodriguez made the final round, placing 16th with a 356.55.
Over in Class AA, Colleen Rodrigues continued Upper Moreland’s success in District One, winning gold with a score of 406.05, and Gwynedd-Mercy’s Mary Kate Caputo also secured a trip to Bucknell, earning silver with a 399.85.
District One Diving Championships
At North Penn
Paige Burrell (North Penn) 530.30; 2. Nicole Costello (Pennsbury) 509.85; 3. Meghan Wenzel (North Penn) 488.55; 4. Madalyn Freece (North Penn) 471.95; 5. Taylor Bennett (Quakertown) 459.60; 6. Phoebe Shaya (Council Rock South) 452.45; 7. Caroline Turner (Phoenixville) 450.00; 8. Callie Smith (North Penn) 437.60; 9. Sarah Stim (Central Bucks West) 426.30; 10. Phil-Ann Dixon (Strath Haven) 423.25; 11. Sara Haggerty (Downingtown West) 421.95; 12. Kylene Gillick (Central Bucks East) 402.30; 13. Kelly Regan (Upper Dublin) 389.05; 14. Celia Henke (Abington) 365.95; 15. Allie Rosengarten (Haverford) 359.80; 16. Camaryn Rodriguez (Methacton) 356.55.
Colleen Rodrigues (Upper Moreland) 406.05 points; 2. Mary Kate Caputo (Gwynedd Mercy) 399.85; 3. Kaylee Hermann (Upper Moreland) 377.30; 4. Riley Miller (Villa Maria) 350.20; 5. Emma Dunham (Lower Moreland) 283.15; 6. Caprian Kan (Chichester) 259.00; 7. Samantha Wynne (Springfield) 250.80.
Top Photo: North Penn’s Madalyn Freece competes at the PIAA District 1 Girls Diving Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)