CANTON: Powell Olentangy Liberty senior Olivia Ball continued her mastery of 1-meter diving Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium by winning her third consecutive Division I state championship.
Ball scored a state and pool record 553.85 points in 11 dives to top the field of 24.
Three area divers placed in the top eight to join Ball on the podium: Julia Oppedisano of Strongsville, Kailey Francetic of Walsh Jesuit and Erika Shane of Cuyahoga Falls.
The girls, all juniors, will be aiming to earn the spot next year that Ball, a University of Georgia recruit, has locked down.
Oppedisano scored 473.15 points and placed fourth. She was 14th as a sophomore at state and 16th as a freshman at state.
“I feel pretty good,” Oppedisano said. “Last year was kind of a disaster for me. This year I just went out and had fun. I felt pretty good about my front twister and my front one-and-a-half, and my inward was pretty good.”
Francetic scored 472.80 points and finished fifth. She was eighth as a sophomore and 14th as a freshman.
“I feel really confident on how I performed today,” Francetic said. “I thought all my dives were performed very well. I know I can do better on each dive, but no performance is perfect. I am happy with this.”
Shane made the podium for the first time at eighth place. She scored 444.60 points.
Cuyahoga Falls senior Nicole Rozsa finished 11th with 441.20 points, and then rushed off to compete in a district gymnastics meet in West Geauga.
“At this point next year, I hope I can perfect my dives even more,” Francetic said. “I don’t know what place I will get, but I know that I want to fix things that I messed up on this year and move forward.”
New Albany junior Estee Pryor finished second with 521.00 points and freshman teammate Nikki Waters was third with 486.10 points.