ShareThis Page

Derry divers prepare for WPIAL meet

| Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Derry Area's Morgan Elrick dives during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Swimming and Diving Championships on February 1, 2013 at Derry Area High School in Derry Township.  Elrick won with a score of 333.10.
Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review
Derry Area's Morgan Elrick dives during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Swimming and Diving Championships on February 1, 2013 at Derry Area High School in Derry Township. Elrick won with a score of 333.10. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

Three Derry divers have turned their attention to the WPIAL Class AA championships after winning medals at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet on Feb. 1 at Derry.

Freshman Morgan Elrick (333.10 points) and senior Rachel Trice (312.25) swept the top two places in girls competition.

Among boys, senior Ben Hoyman tied for fifth with 242.90 points.

All three have qualified for the WPIAL championships, to be held on Feb. 22 at South Park.

“I am working on fine tuning their dives and (working) on the ones they have trouble with,” Derry diving coach Trish Brownlee said. “We are working on take-offs, height and entries.

“Some want to learn a new dive to boost their degree of difficulty. We will use the new dives in the two (remaining) meets of the (regular) season.”

Elrick, Trice and Hoyman agreed the county meet was extremely helpful in preparing them for the WPIAL championships.

“We did 11 dives, the same number we'll do at WPIALs,” Hoyman said. “In a dual meet, we do only six.”

“(It's) a great practice meet for WPIALs,” Brownlee agreed.

Trice hopes she has better luck than she did three years ago, when a concussion forced her to miss the WPIAL championship.

“I didn't dive as a sophomore or junior,” she said. “I really wanted to come back this year so I could compete at WPIALs.”

“I am very proud of (Trice) being able to gain her confidence and dive again,” Brownlee said.

A team leader, Hoyman has made great strides in the three years he has qualified for the WPIAL championship, Brownlee said.

“He encourages his teammates and has a great sense of humor (that) makes everyone laugh on a bad day,” she said. “He (has) improved his dive list.”

Elrick looks forward to competing at the WPIAL championship for the first time.

“(Elrick) is building up her confidence and it is paying off,” Brownlee said. “I look for her to do well.”

Elrick was nervous at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet.

“I'm getting used to an 11-dive list,” she said.

Elrick and Trice helped lead the Derry girls swimming team to the Class AA title at the county championships, where 17 schools, including six in diving, competed.

“Morgan and Rachel got us off to a strong start,” Derry swimming coach Jeff Kelly said.

Sophomore Lauren Henderson also has qualified for the WPIAL championship.

With a school allowed only two entries, Henderson did not compete at the county championship.

Brownlee said she and Henderson gave a pep talk to competitors before the meet.

In boys competition, Latrobe sophomore Taylor Barta overcame a broken hand to finish third at the WCCA meet.

“It's incredible he was able to dive,” Latrobe diving coach Ben Wells said.

“It doesn't hurt as much as it did, but I can't grab my legs as tight as usual,” said Barta, who wore a waterproof cast.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.