The Lancaster-Lebanon League went four-for-four on the medal stand on Saturday.
All four local divers competing at the District Three Class 3A championships at Wilson's Roy G. Snyder took home some new hardware, while three earned the chance at a state medal.
McCaskey's Evie Altland led the way, moving up the scoreboard through 11 dives to claim district bronze with a score of 382.15.
The junior, who attends Lancaster Country Day, was joined on the medal stand by Manheim Township's Shannon O'Hara (373.50) in fifth place and Elizabethtown's Kierstan Lentz (371.65) in sixth place. In the following boys competition, Township's Nico Billoni (360.90) pushed his way into fourth place in his first district appearance.
District Three gold went to Hershey's Meredith Gould, who moved from silver last year to first this year with an impressive score of 431.40. Governor Mifflin's Noah Clipman ran away with the boys title, accumulating a score of 457.20 to win by 63 points.
For Altland, O'Hara and Billoni, their medals also came with a berth at the PIAA championships next month at Bucknell University.
The finish marks the first time Lancaster County will have more than one diver competing at states since 2014, when Hempfield sent Brianna Digilio and Paige Schoelkopf to Bucknell. By qualifying, Billoni becomes the L-L's first boy to dive at states since McCaskey's Sam Guenin finished 20th there in 2012.
Altland found herself near the top of the scoreboard early, earning a score of 41.40 on her final preliminary dive and a 42.00 on her reverse with one and half somersaults to close out the semifinals.
The dive, which Altland quickly named as the one she was happiest with on Saturday drew an ovation from the crowd and helped the junior best last year's seventh-place finish.
“I am so excited and proud of myself because I feel like I did really well this year,” said Altland. “Last year I was hoping to do well at districts and this year I was hoping to make it to states, so I'm really happy I that I did.”
That was also the goal for O'Hara, who wanted to close out her high school career on the PIAA stage. It all came down to the end for the senior, who entered her final dive in sixth place – one spot shy of qualifying.
She came up big on her forward, one and a half somersault dive in the tuck position, earning 40.70 to punch her ticket to Bucknell.
“Honestly, I wasn't really thinking about (the standings) as much, I was just focused on my dives and doing the best personally that I could do,” O'Hara admitted. “Obviously I wanted (Kierstan Lentz, who was knocked out of the top five) to do well too, so I was just kind of going with it and seeing where it laid at the end.”
O'Hara wasn't the only one saving her best for last.
As the rounds continued, Billoni found himself in line for a medal, but on the bubble for states. That all changed when he hit the water after his final dive.
The sophomore nailed his inward dive with one and a half somersaults in the tuck position, eliciting a roar from the crowd and his highest score of the day, 44.00.
“I was so surprised, because that's like one of my hardest dives. It's normally not that good,” Billoni admitted with a laugh.
“I was not expecting that at all,” Billoni continued of finishing fourth. “I was expecting anything … I was just trying to do the best that I can. (My dives) were actually a lot better than normal, really on point, and that was really nice.”
That’s how you close out the #D3Diving championship. Township’s Nico Billoni earns 44.00, his highest score of the day, & gets an appropriate ovation from the crowd @Mtswimming pic.twitter.com/BXLUhVUhMx— Diana Pugliese (@dianapugs) February 23, 2019
DISTRICT THREE CLASS 3A DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. N. Clipman, GM, 457.20; 2. C. Sweigart, GM, 394.00; 3. C. Holte, Her, 390.35; 4. N. Billoni, MT, 360.90; 5. S. Barlett, North, 355.85; 6. A. Pesile, Car, 330.85; 7. J. Flowers, Wil, 320.35; 8. T. Dietrich, Muhl, 313.70; 9. J. Pequignot, Dover, 301.45; 10. A. Sites, Ship, 287.60.
11. S. Istenes, ET, 286.20; 12. J. Zinkand, SW, 283.95; 13. C. Cramer, Ship, 281.00; 14. T. White, RL, 277.55; 15. N. Watts, ET, 272.35; 16. W. Settle, Car, 257.60; 17. M. Miller, SW, 164.20; 18. A. George, TV, 148.40.
1. M. Gould, Her, 431.40; 2. A. Oleary, North, 408.90; 3. E. Altland, McC, 382.15; 4. M. MacMahon, GM, 374.60; 5. S. O'Hara, MT, 373.50; 6. K. Lentz, E-town, 371.65; 7. A. Massage, Her, 347.40; 8. G. Diskin, CumbV, 316.70; 9. K. LaFaver, Cliff, 298.10; 10. A. Shchuka, ET, 284.95.
11. S. Elkhyati, Wil, 279.40; 12. N. Easteadt, Wil, 275.65; 13. M. Burd, RL, 270.10; 14. A. Lippert, Dover, 267.60; 15. H. Potts, CY, 237.10; 16. B. Wilson, CumbV, 226.90; 17. CumbV, 172.70.