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Quaker Valley diver makes quick study

| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 9:12 p.m.

Reilly Diggins is off to an impressive start as a freshman on the Quaker Valley girls swimming and diving team.

Diggins was undefeated in 1-meter diving in two of three Section 2-AA meets so far. Her only loss came last week, when she finished second to Riverside's Brittany Hart, a finalist at the WPIAL championship a year ago.

Diggins also took first place at the West Allegheny Christmas Invitational meet.

“Reilly gets a little more polished every week,” coach Sue Morgan said. “It's been a pleasure to watch.”

Led in part by Diggins and other divers, Quaker Valley (2-1) is considered a strong contender for the section title. The Quakers were scheduled to meet Blackhawk on Wednesday. Results were not available before this edition's deadline.

Senior Olivia Ragoowansi and sophomore Becca Kirby finished second and fourth, respectively, in 1-meter diving at the West Allegheny Christmas Invitational.

Freshman Marissa Brooks has competed, as well.

Morgan expects Diggins, 15, to improve greatly with experience.

“One thing that's posed a problem for her is (learning) the difference between USA Diving and national high school rules,” Morgan said. “There are some things allowed in USA Diving that aren't (allowed) in high school.

“Once she gets a handle on that, there will be no stopping her.”

Doe Krug, her coach at the Pitt Aquatic Club, said Diggins is very graceful.

“She's a petite girl with a beautiful toe point,” said Krug, noting Diggins is learning more difficult dives.

Diggins took up diving after a chronic pain condition triggered by a shin injury forced her to quit gymnastics.

“I had to keep from getting reinjured,” said Diggins, who finds diving easier on the legs.

Diggins has modest goals this year.

“I'd like to be a medalist at WPIALs so I can qualify for (the state championship),” Diggins said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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