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Chartiers Valley diver wins 3rd consecutive WPIAL crown

| Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

For the third time in as many years, Chartiers Valley junior Maria Lohman stood atop the podium Saturday at the WPIAL diving championships.

After becoming the first diver to finish first in consecutive years —and in different classifications, when the Colts moved up to Class AAA last year — Lohman was ecstatic to defend her title at North Allegheny.

“It's really exciting,” she said. “I'm thrilled that I dove as well as I did today because in recent years, I haven't performed my best at WPIALs. But this year I dove really solid, and that was the goal.”

Lohman clinched the title after executing her final dive with a score of 52.8 and a 2.2 degree of difficulty. That dive propelled Lohman to a total score of 540.15, a mark that has plenty of personal significance for her.

“I think this one is unique, because I had my personal best score by a lot,” she said. “So I was really excited about today.”

Lohman, along with Fox Chapel's Miranda Simon (runner-up) and Emily Eames, Julia Vespoli of North Allegheny, Brionna Litwin of Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon's Kalli Bicket, advanced to the PIAA championships March 12-15 at Bucknell University.

Lohman enters the state meet as defending champion after finishing second as a freshman in Class AA. She will look to draw on that experience at Bucknell next month.

“The experience definitely is going to help me,” she said. “I'm looking to improve my lift a little more, sharpen up and get a better score at states.”

In the boys competition, North Hills senior Noah Bostick improved upon his second-place finish from a year ago to win the title.

“I knew what I needed to do to win first. I knew people expected me to win first, but I didn't really think about it much,” he said.

Bostick's inward two-and-a-half dive in his final attempt earned him a score of 55.80 with a 3.1 degree of difficulty, the highest of any dive over the past two days at the WPIAL Class AAA and AA championship meets.

“I just got it last week,” Bostick said of his winning dive. “It's one of the harder dives in the competition. I think I was the only one that did it today.”

Bostick, who will run track at Slippery Rock University next year, was able to move up on the podium each of the past three years after winning bronze as a sophomore and silver a year ago.

“I've been working hard — especially this year, (after) we got a new coach (Erik Moore),” Bostick said. “It's just a total different outlook on things, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out.”

Andrew Doerfler (North Allegheny), Joey Ference (Penn-Trafford), Cary Johns (Mt. Lebanon), Addison Lynch (Fox Chapel) and Andrew Sederholm (Franklin Regional) rounded out the top six and will join Bostick at the PIAA meet.

Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.

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