The Rails divers went to Regional Diving on Thursday (10/26) to compete for the limited State meet spots. And by the end of the evening, Jolynn Harris, senior, and Chloe Pearson, sophomore, would qualify for State! While Haley Allen, senior, would dive her personal best score! But it was an adventure to get there.
The Rails were assigned to the Grinnell region which hosted divers from the Indianola swim regional (Dowling, Marshalltown and Grinnell) and SE Polk/Marshalltown Y swim regional (DM Lincoln, Iowa City West and Iowa City High).
Warm-ups went well, with all three divers looking strong and crisp in their execution. At 5:00PM the meet began, with Chloe Pearson as diver number one. Soon after Haley Allen followed (5th in rotation) and then Jolynn Harris (6th in rotation). Each diver was executing even better than warm-ups and their recent conference meet, until Chloe hit a snafu with her forward double somersault, which the officials deemed incomplete.
It was a bit of a shock. But Chloe didn’t let it phase her. She continued to push herself to dive better than she ever had on her last seven dives, unwilling to give up on her dream of diving at State this season.
Meanwhile Jolynn Harris was there to impress. She showcased her immense talent, hitting dive after dive earning multiple 8s and 9s on several dives. Her cleanest dive was her inward which earned all 9s or 9.5s. While her highest scoring was her inward 1 1/2 somersault pike – 61.20 points on that one dive alone!
Haley Allen came to the meet with one big goal to hit a 310. If she could do it, it would be her best score ever by almost 10 full points. She started out hitting a 29.25 on her forward somersault pike, earning almost all 6s and 6.5s. But she didn’t stop there. She raised the level of all of her dives, ending the evening with three dives at 30+ points and four additional dives at 27+ points.
In the end, Chloe fought her way back to a final score of 380.80 less than 9 points less than her best score ever, but in just 10 dives instead of 11! Jolynn earned first place at regionals with a personal best score – 546.10. And Haley Allen hit her goal! She dove a 310.25.
“I’m so proud of these girls. I’ve coached Jolynn and Haley for four seasons and it was amazing to watch them perform so strong. Plus, as a sophomore, Chloe had the poise to put her double behind her and look ahead to all the dives left on her list. That is phenomenal. By the end of the meet, the girls had two personal bests and the best comeback ever!” said Coach Tereca Weber. “And that just proves how much their hard work paid off, they’re wrapping up season on a high.”
Below are some highlights from the meet.
- Jolynn Harris was an automatic state qualifier after earning 1st place in our region. She set Grinnell’s pool record with her score of 546.10 and also rebroke her school record. Also she is now 4th All-Time for the entire state of Iowa* and is seeded first heading into this year’s state meet.
- Chloe Pearson’s score of 380.80 earned her a spot in the state meet!! She is currently 19th! Her highest scoring dive was her 2 1/2 somersault, which netted her 44 points and she had 3 other dives at 40+ points!
- Haley Allen dove her personal best score of 310.25! She earned an 8 on her forward somersault with a 1/2 twist and eight 7s (spread among various dives).
- This is only the third time in school history the Rails have had two competitors in the state dive meet
*According to page 7 of the record book found on the Iowa Girls Athletic Union website, which is updated through the 2016 state meet.
Below are a few photos from the meet. The action shots, podium photo and large group shot were all taken by Chris Pose (the Dowling High School team photographer). We extend a big thank you to him for sharing these with us!