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MV's McDonald snares fourth at CIF diving finals Phillip Brents | Fri, May 28 2010 12:45 PM

This year's San Diego Section diving championships proved to be a record-setting affair all around as El Capitan senior Sam Wilson broke her own record in the Division II girls competition and new records were set in both the boys and girls portions of the Division I meet last Friday at Mesa College.

Mar Vista junior Michelle McDonald also produced a milestone in her three-year career by placing fourth in the Division II girls field — up from seventh as a sophomore and eighth as a freshman.

A total of 17 divers competed in the Division II girls field.

“This year I really concentrated on my form, taking it dive to dive,” said McDonald, the reigning South Bay League Diver of the Year. “My practices are much more serious. I’ve made an effort to learn new dives, and learn them, not just practice them. The board does the rest if you are prepared.”

McDonald scored 193.90 points in the six-dive competition to place behind Wilson (227.15 points) and the Cathedral Catholic tandem of Kylie Sullivan (217.45 points) and Aubriana Butler (204.25 points).

The top six place-finishers earned medals. San Diego Jewish Academy’s Sophia Gross finished fifth with 185.45 points while La Jolla’s Sierra Beeson was sixth with 179.90 points.

McDonald began the meet with a 197.50 entry mark. She won this year’s South Bay League championship meet with a score of 173.0 points. 
“Consistency is what we tried to strive for in this meet,” Mar Vista dive coach Dan Kovar said. “She didn’t miss too many today. In these kinds of events, when you have only six dives, one missed dive can take you out of the meet. You don’t have enough dives to make it up.”

A total of eight Metro Conference divers competed in this year’s finals. McDonald was the only South County diver entered in the Division II championship meet but Hilltop was represented by six divers in the Division I finals while Chula Vista had one entrant.

Hilltop’s Shane Garvin scored an impressive 191.35 points to place 14th in the 22-deep Division I boys field. He finished ahead of teammates Leo Diaz de Leon (15th, 188.60 points) and Aaron Siaumau (17th, 186.10 points) after placing second to Diaz de Leon at the Mesa League finals.

Garvin’s entry score was 168.0 points. Diaz de Leon won this year’s Mesa League title with 159.2 points. Garvin was second with 147.2 points.

Chula Vista’s Johnny Hewuse finished 19th at the Division I finals with 178.80 points — well ahead of his third-place mark of 147.05 points at the Mesa League finals.  

Reigning Mesa League champion Ashley Relph was the top point-getter among locals in the Division I girls meet with 172.35 points to place 18th in the 23-deep field. Hilltop’s Ashley Johnson (22nd, 159.0 points) and Marissa Ringwald (23rd, 115.05 points) brought up the rear.

Relph and Johnson both bested their entry marks.  Relph won this year’s league title with 153.6 points.

Rancho Bernardo junior Haley Francois broke her own record of 228.0 points set in 2009 with 261.35 points this year while RB senior Josh Urnezis set a new boys record with 317.75 points to unseat defending Division I champion Kevin Dreesen of Granite Hills. Dreesen finished second this year with 289.35 points.

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