Beach­wood diver wins D-II dis­trict ti­tle

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Sports - By Chris Lill­strung CLill­strung@news-her­ @CLill­strungNH on Twit­ter

Be­fore vir­tu­ally ev­ery dive Feb. 14 amid the Di­vi­sion II Cleve­land State Dis­trict meet, Spencer Bys­trom dabbed him­self with a towel and cast it to the side.

That’s pretty much how the com­pe­ti­tion felt after a ca­reer per­for­mance by the Beach­wood ju­nior.

Bys­trom won the D-II dis­trict ti­tle with an 11-dive score of 511.75 after tak­ing dis­trict run­ner-up hon­ors each of the last two years.

The score marked a stark as­cent after he recorded a 436.15 at dis­trict and a 427.00 at state, the lat­ter get­ting him fifth in D-II in Can­ton. A jack of all trades for the Bi­son, who is also out­stand­ing in 100 back­stroke and on re­lays, started his week at Bus­bey Nata­to­rium with a flour­ish.

“It feels amaz­ing,” Bys­trom said. “I had no idea I was go­ing to PR by 63 points to­day. I was su­per hyped, and I’m just glad that I’m here with all my friends and able to com­pete.

“To­day, all of my dives were spot on. I didn’t miss a sin­gle dive, ex­cept maybe re­verse 1 ½. Be­sides that, all of them were great and — yeah, that was it. Some­thing felt right.”

Bys­trom set a good early tone on his fourth dive — back 1 ½ som­er­sault pike — with a 51.75.

But his best was left for last. With a com­fort­able lead head­ing into the fi­nal round, the three-time state qual­i­fier had a pair of 58.8s, an in­ward 1 ½ som­er­sault pike and an in­ward 2 som­er­sault tuck.

“That (fourth) dive, it can usu­ally be a hit or miss dive — I can get any­where from 30 to 50,” Bys­trom said. “So def­i­nitely get­ting 51, that’s great. I was su­per happy.

“That (fi­nal) round, I had to score 100 points in the last two dives, which is a re­ally big chal­lenge. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it. But with the help of my coaches and con­fi­dence, I fi­nally made it.”

Bys­trom will have plenty of area com­pany jump­ing on In­ter­state 77 next week.

Bene­dic­tine fresh­man Luke Faulisi was third with a 379.20. The North Coast League cham­pion, who also plays hockey for the Ben­gals as a de­fense­man, closed in style on his 11th and fi­nal dive, a back 1 som­er­sault 2 ½ twist free, with his best score of the day, a 43.20.

“It feels awe­some,” Faulisi said. “I was hop­ing to get a 400, but since the judges are a lit­tle tough, I had to be a lit­tle bit more ag­gres­sive.”

On the girls side, reign­ing D-II state cham­pion Kami Goodrick took sec­ond with a score of 426.40 to book her fourth ca­reer trip to state. The West Geauga se­nior, still feel­ing the ef­fects of a dis­lo­cated rib, shook off a rough semi­fi­nal round with en­cour­ag­ing book­ends. She got a 47.15 on her sec­ond dive, a back 1 ½ som­er­sault pike, and her top score of the day on her penul­ti­mate dive, an in­ward 1 ½ som­er­sault pike for a 49.20.

“You have good days, and you have bad days,” Goodrick said. “I’d say to­day was just kind of an av­er­age day — noth­ing too spec­tac­u­lar or any­thing like that. But you’ve just got to take it one dive at a time, and then when some­thing goes wrong, you just leave it be­hind and make up for that with your other dives.

“That 47 def­i­nitely helped me a lot. It was a good setup and it kind of gives you a lit­tle bit of con­fi­dence and eases ev­ery­thing a lit­tle bit be­cause you’re not try­ing to con­stantly catch up and ev­ery­thing. But yeah, it went well.”

For the sec­ond straight year, Goodrick will have West G com­pany in Can­ton, as Han­nah Zah­niser booked a re­turn en­gage­ment as well by tak­ing fourth with a 386.70.

“It’s pretty spe­cial,” Zah­niser said. “I al­ways come back from in­juries ap­par­ently, so this is an­other in­jury that I’m com­ing back from, be­cause I was re­ally sick and I al­most cut off the sea­son. So it means a lot.

“It was flu-like — I was out for a while. I came back from a month of not div­ing. I never re­ally got back to nor­mal for the post­sea­son. This is one of the first meets and days I’ve done in a month. So not re­ally my best, I feel, but I can deal with it since I’ve been out.”

Also headed to state are Univer­sity’s Ian Binder and Cha­grin Falls’ Kate La­mon­ica, who each took fifth.

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