Avon Lake's Srail takes second in Division I state diving

CANTON – Last year the C.T. Branin Natatorium was the scene of a huge disappointment for Avon Lake’s Morgan Srail. She did not perform well and failed to advance to the final three dives.

Srail will now have pleasant memories of the Branin Natatorium as the senior gave an outstanding performance to finish second in the state with 473.75 points. Cuyahoga Falls senior Haleigh Bartlett was just a tad better as she won the state title with 482.35.

“I am really happy with finishing second after last year’s 17th,” Srail said. “I just wanted to dive my best and I feel like I did.”

Srail was able to control her emotions this year.

“I felt more prepared,” Srail said. “I was having a good time. Last year I was stressed out and I focused too much on where I would place. This year I was just diving the way I know how to.”

Her coach Jeff Arnold was thrilled with her performance.

“Morgan dived a great meet,” Arnold said. “Last year she had a disappointment because she missed a double and didn’t make the finals. We were gunning for a state championship but she was taking anything with a medal. She had a great meet. She performed well and lost to a real good state champion.”

In the draw, Srail dove 10 with Bartlett right behind her at 11th. Srail trailed by 18 with three dives remaining. She cut it to 15.8 with one dive left and put a ton of pressure on Bartlett with a great final dive.

“I tried not to think about it because it would mess with my head but I knew (Srail) would be right there,” Bartlett said. “Going into the last dive I said it has to be good for me to win. So I tried my hardest.”

Srail gave credit to Bartlett for the win.

“Haleigh is a good friend,” Srail said. “I wish her the best at college. I’m happy with my performance. I know she dove better and I’m glad she won.

Westlake junior Sammie Sposet competed in her first ever state meet. She was eliminated in the second round of cuts. She dove eight times and finished 18th with 272.2 points.

Sposet enjoyed the state meet experience.

“I thought I did a good job,” Sposet said. “I was happy to reach the semifinals.”

Her coach Chris Dalman was impressed.

“Sammie exceeded my expectations,” Dalman said. “She did exactly what she needed to do. She reached her goals this year and set the bar for next year.

There was a scary moment in the seventh round of diving. Solon sophomore Sivan Mills hit her arm on the board. She went underwater and did not immediately surface. It was a tense few seconds as the crowd screamed for the lifeguard to get to her. Mills was helped out of the water and thankfully alright. It was feared she broke her arm but that did not appear to be the case. She returned to make her eighth dive to loud applause from the crowd.

D-I State Diving Championship

1. Haleigh Bartlett Cuyahoga Falls 482.35, 2. Morgan Srail 473.75, 3. Morgan Mullins Centerville 466.85, Taryn McLaughlin Hudson 450.05, 5. Madeline Swell Mason 449.95, 6. Emily Mosher St. Ursula 436.20, 7. Margaret Craycraft ilford 436.2, 8. Rachel Speakman Hudson 420.75, 18. Sammie Sposet 272.2 (Semifinal Score).

Last Updated: 2/24/2011 1:25:17 PM EST

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