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Chartiers Valley diver chasing PIAA title

| Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
Chartiers Valley's Maria Lohman won the WPIAL Class AAA diving title on Feb. 22, 2014, at North Allegheny.
Submitted
Chartiers Valley's Maria Lohman won the WPIAL Class AAA diving title on Feb. 22, 2014, at North Allegheny.

Chartiers Valley junior Maria Lohman accomplished two important things at the WPIAL Class AAA girls diving championship meet last month.

Besides winning, she had fun, said Doe Krug, her coach with Pitt Aquatic Club Divers.

It was Lohman's third consecutive WPIAL title, including the last two in Class AAA. She was Class AA champion in 2012.

She is a favorite to repeat as state champion next week at Bucknell University.

“Maria has the physical (tools),” Krug said. “Her mechanics and techniques are much more advanced than anyone else's.

“But the mental component is taking longer. In pursuit of the perfect dive, she gets frustrated and unhappy.”

Posting her best score (540.15), Lohman had a lot to smile about at the WPIAL meet.

“I have to stay calm and not let the pressure get to my head,” said Lohman, who plans to follow the same list of dives at the PIAA championship.

Krug said Lohman is fearless.

“Some divers are too scared to do (a dive), but Maria is not scared,” Krug said. “She just needs to believe in herself and stay focused.”

Lohman, 16, is a member of the USA Diving Junior Elite Performance Squad, which consists of boys and girls who want to make the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. She spent about a week in fall 2011 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., receiving training and nutrition tips with other squad members.

She was named to the squad after finishing eighth in 1-meter (256.15), 12th in 3-meter (229.40) and 26th in platform (196.05) in her age group at the 2010 Junior National Championships.

Chartiers Valley swim coach Heidi Fiorentini considers Lohman a role model for swimmers as well as divers.

“A lot of times divers are overshadowed by swimmers, but in this case, it's probably the other way around,” Fiorentini said. “The girls admire Maria, and she respects them.”

“Maria is sensitive and very caring for other people,” Krug said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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