Sarver triumphs despite lightning delay
- West York's Erica Sarver successfully defended her District 3-AA diving title.
- Both Sarver and Northeastern's Lindsey Pope, who finished second, qualified for the PIAA state meet.
- Wednesday's event was delayed 45 minutes by lightning outside of the venue at Big Spring.
NEWVILLE — It's not often when an indoor event, such as Wednesday evening's District 3-AA Boys' and Girls' Diving Championships, is delayed by weather.
So it was also not much of a surprise that many of the competitors in the event at Big Spring High School had to figure out how to fill the idle time.
Fortunately for a pair of York-Adams League girls, the timeout was nothing more than an inconvenience.
Northeastern senior Lindsey Pope gave West York junior Erica Sarver all that she could handle. But for the second year in a row it was the Bulldog standout who claimed the gold.
Sarver scored 415.80 points to edge Pope by 7.05 points to repeat as district champion.
On the boys' side, Dover's Jamie Kohler placed seventh out of eight divers. The boys' champion was Trinity's Bradley Buchter, who broke his own district record with a score of 667.30. It was also Buchter's fourth district title.
“I'm pretty happy," Sarver said. "I did improve from last year, but it's not my personal best. But it's still good enough.”
Sarver needed a 32.75 in her final of 11 dives on the evening to best Pope. She did that, scoring 39.80. That reversed their finish from the recent York-Adams League meet, when Pope beat Sarver.
“Lindsey is also on my club team," Sarver said. "So she really pushes me and I'm glad to have someone on my level to push me and to motivate me to do better.”
Pope echoed that sentiment.
“(Diving against Sarver) gives me something to work for," Pope said. "It really makes me push myself.”
Weird weather delay: While those two were preparing to get ready to take their second dive of the night, neither expected the nasty weather that rushed through the Cumberland County area to cause trouble inside. But it did just that, when the meet was delayed because of lightning in the area. According to PIAA rules, the meet had to wait at least 30 minutes until the last lightning sighting before it could resume. In total, the delay lasted around 45 minutes.
“That was really strange," Pope said. "That's not something that you expect at a diving meet. It was kind of stressful at first, but then it gave me some time to relax and kind of chill out for a bit.”
Sarver admitted that it was something she's never seen before in her career. But as a defending district champion, she handled it accordingly.
“That's never happened to me," Sarver said. "But it gave me time to get my energy back and get focused for the rest of the meet. So I was happy about that.”
Both Pope and Sarver qualified for the PIAA meet to be held at Bucknell University on Saturday, March 19. Both divers will return to that meet. Sarver finished third a year ago, while Pope placed 10th.
The results: Following are the complete results:
Boys: 1. Bradley Buchter (Trinity), 667.30. 2. Dillon Novak (Big Spring), 427.15. 3. Jack Still (Boiling Springs), 309.95. 4. Matthew Watkins (Big Spring), 288.85. 5. RIley Spahr (Trinity), 286.95. 6. Zach Sowa (Trinity), 278.20. 7. Jamie Kohler (Dover), 271.85. 8. Jack Pallis (Boiling Springs), 248.75.
Girls: 1. Erica Sarver (West York), 415.80. 2. Lindsey Pope (Northeastern), 408.75. 3. Shannon McCabe (Big Spring), 346.10. 4. Erica Kenski (Trinity), 317.40. 5. Lauren Williamson (Northeastern), 280.30. 6. Diamond Boyer (Schuylkill Valley), 219.45. 7. Emily Kirk (Boiling Springs), 203.60. 8. Leanne Weaver (Boiling Springs), 184.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.