Latrobe's Miller sets sights on diving championships
Latrobe sophomore Taylor Miller expects to contend for the WPIAL Class AAA girls diving title after strong showings in two 11-dive meets last month.
Miller, 16, took first place at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship and second place at the North Allegheny Invitational.
Miller said she did better than expected at the North Allegheny Invitational, in which divers from across the WPIAL competed.
“Fifth place was my goal,” she said.
Latrobe diving coach Trish Brownlee expects Miller to qualify for the state meet by placing in the top five at the WPIAL championship at North Allegheny later this month.
Miller finished ninth in the WPIAL last season and is excited by the prospect of reaching the state meet for the first time.
“I've added new dives and cleaned up old (ones),” she said.
Miller is counting on a rare type of dive to give her an edge.
“I like anything with back twisting,” she said. “Judges don't see it all the time (and) are awed by it.”
Miller set the Latrobe record in 6-dive girls 1-meter diving by scoring 312 points in a dual meet last season.
Brownlee said Miller became the first girl in school history to break 300.
She's zeroing in on the boys mark of 324 to set an overall record.
Her top score so far this season, 309, came at Laurel Highlands, where Brownlee said she smashed a pool standard of 274.
Brownlee said a gymnastics background and positive attitude help Miller, who she began guiding on the Derry Flip and Twist Diving Club five years ago.
“When I think she's ready to try a new dive, she doesn't hesitate to try (one),” said Brownlee, a former Pitt diver. “I love coaching Taylor because she's fun, classy and takes everything in stride.
“When she walks in the room, she always has a smile. She gets along with everyone.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.