Connellsville diver chasing spot on WPIAL medal stand
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Connellsville junior Luke Kisiel was not a diver from an early age. In fact, he wasn't introduced to the sport until a few years ago.
“One day I was on the trampoline with (Connellsville graduate and former diver) Kait Nedrow, and I just started doing flips,” Kisiel said.
Connellsville dive coach Tammy Nedrow noticed Kisiel's ability to do flips and turns in the air, and suggested he try out diving.
“He has a lot of natural ability,” Tammy Nedrow said.
Kisiel's natural ability has complemented his strong work ethic, and for the second straight season, he will compete in the WPIAL Class AAA diving championships.
This year's competition will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at North Allegheny.
“To be honest, my goal since the beginning of the year is to increase my points and do that each year,” Kisiel said. “If I medal, that's great. If I don't, I still have next year.”
Kisiel qualified for WPIALs with a 211-point performance in a meet earlier this season. He enters WPIALs as the ninth seed in Class AAA. The top six finishers will be on the medal podium and will advance to the PIAA Class AAA championships March 12-15 at Bucknell University.
“I would love to podium,” Kisiel said. “The top six go to states and if I can perform, I'm pretty sure I can be up there. But I don't want to put that in my mind. I just want to stay calm.”
Kisiel is hoping that his experience at WPIALs last season will serve him well this time around. He noted that aside from former Connellsville teammate Kait Nedrow, he was unfamiliar with the other athletes at the competition.
“There's no reason to be nervous,” Kisiel said. “When I started meeting people there last year, they were very nice. It's a friendly competition and it's always nice to see people do new and insanely difficult dives.”
To medal at WPIALs, Kisiel will have to survive three rounds of competition. In the first round, each competitor will get five dives.
In Round 2, the dives are decreased to three per competitor. Those who advance through the first two rounds will get three more dives in the third round to determine their medal standing.
Kisiel likely will rely on a back one-and-a-half somersault and a forward one and a half somersault to help carry him through.
Despite his high seeding, Kisiel is making sure not to put too much pressure on himself, and according to Tammy Nedrow, that's his best strategy.
“His chances of getting to the podium are very good,” Tammy Nedrow said. “He's increased his level of difficulty and he's got a year of experience behind him. I'm confident that if he keeps calm, he will do well.”
Tammy Nedrow noted that Kisiel consistently has practiced for two hours in the evening four nights a week and does a weekend practice session as well.
Now, it's time to let all the hard work pay dividends.
“He just has to let his natural ability shine through,” Tammy Nedrow said.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- White Oak moves forward on community center
- Liberty hires 2 part-time police officers, honors another
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- Raptor system helps to protect Ringgold students
- Demand for hazmat suits due to Ebola outbreak triples firm’s production
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- McKeesport Area first-grader brings toy gun on school bus
- Kin of 2013 DUI crash victim in Hempfield lose young family in fire
- DNA evidence in alleged June 2013 rape leads to Latrobe man’s arrest