Area divers eye state berths

Area divers eye state berths

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Area divers eye state berths

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Today’s diving regional at Plainfield will feature three from Wayne County.

Richmond’s Mariam Khamis, Centerville’s Brooke Madden and Hagerstown’s Beka Elza seek to advance to Saturday’s state meet. The trio finished 1-2-3 at this past Saturday’s sectional at New Palestine.

Khamis repeated as sectional champion, edging a strong challenge from Madden, 478.05-471.40.

“The Wayne County kids were well-represented,” Centerville diving coach Brad Whited said recently. “We almost went 1-2-3-4 out of Wayne County kids, that’s how close the competition was. Most of those Wayne County kids are club-involved divers and I take pride in the success that three Centerville girls have done from where they’ve started and where they’re going to go. Success is definitely in the future to expand, they’re young.”

Whited has run the STARZ diving program in the Richmond and Centerville community for more than 10 years.

Cost for the regional is $5. The top eight finishers tonight qualify for the state tournament. Swimming prelims are Friday, with diving and swimming consolation and final rounds Saturday at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.

Khamis has twice been to the state meet. She finished 10th as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore.

Khamis was third at last year’s regional, which was won by eventual state champion Sarah Bacon of Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter.

Bacon won the Brownsburg sectional title with a 527.09 Saturday and finished ninth in the 2012 U. S. Olympic Trials.

Lawrence North’s Morgan Meixner was second at last year’s regional and won last Saturday’s Lawrence North sectional with a 554.45. She finished third in state last year and all three are juniors.

They’ll be there again, so I just want to go in, do my best, qualify to state,” Khamis said.

Khamis and Madden claimed the top two sectional spots, while Elza was third with a 361.95 and New Castle’s Megan Millikan was fourth with a 337.

Centerville freshman Shelby Good was sixth and Amelia Boicourt was 13th with a 174.

Madden’s score was an 11-dive record for Centerville.

“It was definitely rough, because I’ve been sick the past few days and I’ve been trying to get over that and just get confidence in myself, but I pulled through and I’m happy with my performance,” Madden said on Saturday.

“It (the regional) should be good, because I have some hard competition. Hopefully I’ll make it to state.”

Madden, a sophomore, did not dive last season for Centerville, but the Bulldog has plenty of experience — and plenty of success. She won two medals in 2009 during the Junior Pan-American Games in Canada, winning gold on 3-meter springboard and silver on 1-meter springboard in the international competition.

Madden also won two events during the East Junior National meet in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2011.

Tonight’s regional features competitors from the Brownsburg, Crawfordsville, Lawrence North, New Palestine and Plainfield sectionals. The event starts at 6 p.m.

The New Palestine sectional featured strong competition.

“It’s one of the best diving sectionals in the state,” said RHS coach Brian Turner.

Khamis has set Richmond and North Central Conference records in her time with the Red Devils.

That, despite a back and muscle injury that kept her out of action for the first half of her sophomore season.

“I’m actually totally recovered from it,” she said. “Last year I had to use my back brace for every dive that I competed. I really needed the stability of it to keep my back safe and now this year I only needed it on one out of the 11, and I really didn’t need it. I was just using it for protection, because sometimes I can tweak my back on that one.”

Elza also qualified for regional as a freshman.

“I tried not to think about my dives,” Elza said. “I wanted to throw them and then just forget about them, because there was nothing else I could do about them. “There were a couple of dives I knew I could have done better on, but overall, I’m pretty happy with them.”

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