Derry Flip and Twist divers set for PIAA meet
Ligonier Valley sophomore Bethanie Meharey made school history twice at the PIAA District 6 Class AA girls diving championship this month at Penn State University.
Meharey became the first Rams diver to claim a district title and the first to qualify for the state meet, which is being held this week at Bucknell.
Meharey is one of only three divers who have competed for Ligonier Valley, swimming coach Linda Lenz said.
“I'd like to set another school record by winning at states, but it's going to be tough,” said Meharey, 15.
Meharey trains year-round with the Derry Flip and Twist Diving Club, where coach Trish Brownlee has noticed great improvement in her since last season.
“She boosted her degree of difficulty on (a) few dives,” Brownlee said.
Meharey scored 277.30 points to win the district title. Bishop McCort senior Taryn Kramer, who transferred from Ligonier Valley last year, was second with 268.15 and also qualified for the state championship.
“Taryn and I train together and are still friends,” Meharey said. “We made a pact we would go to states together.”
“We were determined to get (to the state championship),” Kramer said. “Bethanie kept telling me she didn't want to go without me; I kept telling her I didn't want to go without her.”
Meharey and Kramer are among four members of Derry Flip and Twist competing at the state meet.
Derry Area divers Morgan Elrick and Rachel Trice qualified after finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, at the WPIAL championship last month.
“I am very proud of my divers (and) their accomplishments this season,” said Brownlee, in her ninth year as coach. “This is the first time I have four divers going to states.”
Kramer was the first Bishop McCort diver to qualify for the state meet since 1993, swimming coach Denny Hartnett said.
“We are extremely proud of Taryn's accomplishment,” Bishop McCort athletic director Patrick Hollern said. “She is a well-rounded student-athlete who has a tremendous work ethic.”
Blairsville sophomore Dana Roth, who also belongs to Derry Flip and Twist, finished fourth in District 6.
“I'm looking forward to improving at diving camp so I can make it to states next year,” said Roth, 15.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.