In athletics, sometimes it is better to let the muscles take over and shut the brain off. That statement was key for Ossining junior Alec DeCaprio in Friday’s state and Federation diving championships.
Right before he started his final three dives, there was a parade of finalists at Erie Community College in Williamsville and then the competition resumed.
“Going into that dive I was worried because of the break,” DeCaprio said. “I was a little tight and my hurdle was off. I wasn’t doing the dive how I normally do it. I just tried to focus and remember every other one I did well. I pulled one out from almost out of nowhere.”
His ninth dive – a reverse one and a half somersault with two and a half twists in the free position – was the reigning Section 1 champion’s best dive of the day.
“It was better than any I had done in warm-up,” DeCaprio said. “It got me a lot of points.”
He finished fifth overall in the meet, scoring 513.10 points and jumping up one spot from last year.
The divers had 15 minutes before the parade to warm up but didn’t see the board again until the beginning of the ninth round of competition.
“For me, I do better when my body is wet,” DeCaprio said. “Being that I was dry, in my clothes and sweats, I had gotten a bit tight. I wasn’t though thinking about it. It was kind of like meditation. You can’t worry about the past or what bad things could happen in the future. You have to think about what you’re doing at that exact moment.
“So in the hurdle, you’re supposed to land at the tip of the board, I landed about three inches away. When that happens, I usually overcompensate and throw my hips out and that causes the dive to fall short more often than not. I was in the zone and I turned my mind off so my body took over and I knew what I had to do.”
He said he was happy with how he did overall
“I felt pretty good about my dives,” DeCaprio said. “There are some things that didn’t exactly go my way, that I could’ve done a little bit better. Overall, I was consistent. I didn’t really bomb any dives. You don’t want to have extreme highs or extreme lows. You want to keep your list consistent throughout and I think I maintained throughout the entire meet.”
Clarkstown sophomore Daniel Alaimo finished 13th and teammate junior David Walters finished 14th.
Earlier in the day, the swimmers took center stage and Horace Greeley junior Tyler Hill led the way for Section 1, securing the top seed in the 100-yard backstroke going into Saturday’s finals. His time was a 51.10 seconds. He’s also the fourth seed in the 100 freestyle.
The top 24 swimmers advanced to Saturday’s finals with the top eight competing in the championship finals. Swimmers 9 through 16 are in the consolation finals. Swimmers 17 through 24 are in the bonus finals.
Hill’s teammate senior River Elms is the fourth seed in the 500 free and the sixth seed in the 200 free and will be competing in the championship finals in both events.
North Rockland senior Matthew Zugibe finished in the top six in both of his individual events – third in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Teammate Michael Tartakovsky is the third seed in the 100 back and the eighth seed in the 50 free.
Rye senior Liam Egan had two top-eight finishes as well – the third seed in the 100 butterfly and No. 7 in the 50 free.