Saun­ders takes fourth in district

North Penn Life - - Sports - By Kev Hunter khunter@jour­nalregis­ter.com

The ap­plause from the Cen­tral Bucks West cheer­ing sec­tion reached a crescendo when oachel Saun­ders nailed her re­verse one DnG D KDOI IRU KHU finDO GiYH of Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The col­lec­tion of sev­ens that she earned from the judges pushed her to­tal to 459.50 and locked up a fourth-place finiVK in WKH DiVWUiFW 2nH CODVV AAA com­pe­ti­tion at Up­per Dublin High School.

“That was my fa­vorite dive too so it was good to HnG Rn WKDW,” 6DunGHUV VDiG.

Now, the real fun be­gins for Saun­ders, who will be mak­ing her fourth trip to the state cham­pi­onships in three weeks at Buck­nell Univer­sity. Saun­ders led a group of four lo­cal divers who ad­vanced out of dis­tricts, as North Penn’s Marie va­copino (sixth) and Madi­son Tanis (ninth), as well as Wis­sahickon’s Me­gan Ber­ardelli (sev­enth), all had solid af­ter­noons up on the board be­fore a spir­ited, near-ca­pac­ity crowd at the Up­per Dublin Nata­to­rium.

“I’m really ex­cited. It’s al­wDyV D JRRG WiPH,” 6DunGHUV said of states. “I’m not that dis­ap­pointed (with fourth a year af­ter plac­ing sec­ond) be­cause I’m still go­ing to states. States is more ex­cit­ing so I just wanted to make it. The com­pe­ti­tion was reDOOy KDUG WKiV yHDU.”

Up­per Dublin’s Corey John­son set a pool record with a score of 474.20 to earn the gold medal and also the ooy Moose Award, given to the diver with the high­est score in the com­pe­ti­tion. Up­per Moreland’s Syd­ney Szopo had the top score in Class AA with a 377.85.

Class AAA de­fend­ing cham­pion Carolyn Howard took home the sil­ver medal af­ter scor­ing a 473.85, fol­lowed by Haver­ford’s Alli Butera, who earned the bronze with a 467.85.

“, GiGn’W GiYH Py EHVW,” said Saun­ders, who also SODFHG fiIWK DV D IUHVKPDn and sev­enth as a sopho­more at the event. “I only felt some dives were good but it’s all good. I’ll work hard EHWwHHn nRw DnG VWDWHV.”

va­copino, a fresh­man, had been work­ing hard on a new dive, her dou­ble twist one and a half, and she got to show it off at dis­tricts on Satur­day. It helped her com­pile a 435.35, good for sixth place and a trip to the big meet.

“I’m over­whelmed but ex­citHG WR JR,” VKH VDiG wiWK D VPiOH af­ter re­ceiv­ing her medal.

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