North Allegheny's Shi claims national diving titles
Because of her ability in the subject, Christina Shi of Bradford Woods has been dubbed the “mathematician” by teammates on the Pitt Aquatic Club Divers at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Shi, 12, will find those skills handy to tally her growing diving achievements.
She earned her first national titles by taking first place in two events July 22 in the AAU Diving National Championship meet in Huntersville, N.C. She claimed a bronze medal in a third event.
Divers needed a minimum score in an AAU or another meet to qualify. More than 500 competitors were expected over seven days.
Shi, a rising seventh grader at North Allegheny, took top honors in the girls 12 age group on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards with scores of 235.85 and 262.50, respectively. She placed third in girls 12 to 13 tower (199.80).
She came in first in the preliminaries of the two events she won.
“She had a great meet there,” Pitt Aquatic Club Divers coach Dorothy “Doe” Krug said.
Moving to a new age group, Shi did not expect to win.
“Once the meet started, I had the confidence, plus I have the best coach, Julian Krug, with me,” Shi said, referring to Doe's husband, who is also with Pitt Aquatic Club Divers.
Shi missed half of her workouts this summer and a qualifying meet for USA Diving Summer National Championships to take an accelerated math class.
If she had competed, Doe Krug expected her to better her finishes from nationals last year.
Shi placed seventh in 11-and-under girls 1-meter and ninth in 11-and-under girls 3-meter in 2016 Junior Olympic competition.
Shi, whose family is from China, has been diving for six years. She was so young when she started, Pitt Aquatic Club Divers made an exception for her to join.
Doe Krug admired Shi's fearlessness and said she would do a dive high school students were frightened to attempt.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.