For Center Grove’s Chandler Head, Tuesday’s Bloomington North boys diving regional resulted in advancement to the IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals this weekend at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI.
For Franklin’s Brion Brooks, that goal was not realized.
Nevertheless, both divers are able to see the current season as a success and expect that the experience of being here will be a boost to their diving careers moving forward.
Tuesday’s event featured 20 divers, each making 11 dives. Only the top eight moved on.
The top four divers from each of five sectionals conducted last weekend qualified for the regional, including Head and Brooks, who were third and fourth, respectively, at the Franklin Sectional.
Head, a sophomore, finished eighth Tuesday, earning the last berth to the state finals with 318.85 total points. That beat out the ninth-place finisher Jordan Wright of Castle by a single point.
He was tied for eighth after eight dives and was battling with three others in close contention for the final berth prior to their final dive. Head executed with the pressure on
“I knew it was really close after Round 10,” Head said. “I was pretty nervous. It was the same thing as sectional where I was down and on the verge of not making it here.
“I started diving eighth-grade year, and last year was when I really knew about state, so I’ve been working to get here since then. Some of the girls on our team have made it, and Maddie Gordon finished fifth in the state. My goal was just to make it, so now that I’m there, the pressure is off.”
Brooks, a junior, finished 11th with 314.25 points, just four behind the final state slot. While disappointed, he said he can take a lot away from the experience, including the knowledge of how much he had improved from last season.
“I feel as if I can take what I’ve done wrong here and improve, and I can build on the things I did right,” he said. “I’ve come a long way from last year, and I feel as if I’m not done. I haven’t reached my peak yet, and I can still get better.”
Brooks pointed to his ninth dive of the evening, a reverse double, as the one that kept him from reaching the state meet.
Seymour’s Chris Robinson won the meet with a total score of 402.4 points. Lane Sawyer of Jennings County was runner-up with 384.35, while Sean Stafford of Martinsville took third with 356.4 points.
The state meet starts Friday and concludes Saturday. Swimmers from Franklin, Center Grove and Indian Creek have qualified.