Sanchez on medal stand

Case High School junior diver McKenzie Sanchez, center, stands on the awards podium following the diving competition Saturday at the WIAA Division 1 Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison. Sanchez finished second with 494.45 points, earning a medal for the third straight year. Sophomore Av Osero of Neenah, right, defended her title, scoring 511.50, and senior Adriana Avila of Cedarburg, left, was third with 462.90.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY SANCHEZ

McKenzie Sanchez did her part at the WIAA Division 1 State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday.

The Case High School junior diver hit all 11 of her dives well at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison and finished second in the diving competition with 494.45 points.

Sanchez led after the first five dives and after eight dives, but Neenah sophomore Av Osero had a higher degree of difficulty in her final three dives and totaled 511.50 points to win for the second straight year.

In other Racine County results, Horlick junior Amaya Jerdee reached the second round of diving and finished 19th.

Burlington Co-op swimmers Jenna Hotvedt, Morgan Traughber and Morgan Dietzel came close to holding their seeds in their respective races, but did not earn medals.

Sanchez led Osero by 5.5 points after the first round and by just 1.85 points going into the final round. That’s when Osero turned it on, scoring 159.1 points in her final three dives, including a reverse somersault with 2½ twists on her final dive.

Sanchez scored 140.2 on her final three dives.

Case diving coach Dave Arvai said Sanchez dived consistently well, having very slight bobbles in her 11-dive set.

“She was really consistent all day,” Arvai said. “She and I talked about it (before the meet) and this is one meet you don’t want to bomb any dive. She missed a couple, but really didn’t miss them.

“It’s nice to look back at the score McKenzie got last year and how much (Osero) beat her by (49.50), then look at how much this year (17.05).”

Sanchez said she was relaxed before the meet and just wanted to do well.

“Everyone was really supportive in the diving area and everyone was having a blast,” Sanchez said. “That was making it fun.

“I just tried to relax and stay calm — that’s helped me all season.”

She said her best dives came in the final round — a back dive in the pike position, an inward double and a front 2½ somersault in the tuck position.

“The inward double was a newer one I added toward the end of the season,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez continued an impressive streak by winning a state medal for the third straight year, matching recent Racine divers Tatum Thompkins and Cassidy Bose of Case and Rachel Margis of Park. The biggest difference for Sanchez is that the other three won their third medals as seniors, and Sanchez has one more year to go.

Sanchez, who also competed in gymnastics until about a month ago, is devoting herself full time to diving and will begin practicing soon at the Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer under the tutelage of Todd Hill.

“She’s dedicated to diving now and I’m really excited for next year,” Arvai said. “She can only get better and better and I really want see her win.

“She’s a really hard worker and I can’t say enough about her.”

Jerdee, who didn’t even begin diving until the end of September, was 19th after the first round to advance to the semifinals. She totaled 256.85 points.

“That was a huge confidence boost,” Horlick diving coach Dallas O’Haver said. “She was battling a knee injury that started acting up in warm-ups, but she tried her hardest. You will definitely see her at that pool again next year.”

Jerdee will also be training at the Schroeder Aquatic Center, O’Haver said.

The three Burlington Co-op girls were competing as individuals for the first time.

Hotvedt, a senior, was just off her sectional time in the 500-yard freestyle for the Demons, finishing 19th in 5:18.93, one place above her seed.

Dietzel, a freshman, was seeded 17th in the 100 backstroke and finished 19th in 59.89 seconds, and Traughber, also a senior, was seeded 21st and finished 22nd in 1:00.31.

“They hung in there,” Burlington Co-op coach Denita Jones said. “It’s hard to hold a taper, but just being there as an individual is an accomplishment in itself.”

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WIAA State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships

DIVISION 1

At UW Natatorium, Madison

TEAM SCORES (TOP 10, PLUS RACINE COUNTY): 1. Middleton 313.5. 2. Cedarburg 242. 3. Arrowhead 189. 4. Verona Area/Mount Horeb 176. 5. Stevens Point 130. 6. Neenah 119. 7. Menomonee Falls/Hamilton 105. 8. Madison Memorial 102. 9. Sun Prairie 101. 10. Bay Port 89. 25. Case 17.

200-yard medley relay — 1. Middleton (Chiara Pierobon Mays, Ally Silverstri, Briela Pierobon Mays, Berkley Smith) 1:42.92. 2. Cedarburg (Lillie Hosack, Sophia Remington, Brigid Gwidt, Katie Kubiak) 1:43.44. 3. Bay Port (Riley Melendy, Erin Samels, Emma Lasecki, Sophia Thibert) 1:45.32.

200 freestyle — 1. Cassie Stegner, Menomonee Falls/Hamilton, 1:49.77. 2. Julia Stupar, Stevens Point, 1:49.78. 3. Abby Cabush, Arrowhead, 1:50.60.

200 individual medley — 1. Hosack, Cedarburg, 1:58.13. 2. Lasecki, Bay Port, 2:02.98. 3. Cassie Ketterling, Oak Creek, 2:04.

50 freestyle — 1. Grace Bennin, Verona Area/Mount Horeb, 23.27. 2. Gwen Gustafson, Brookfield Central, 23.28. 3. Sophia Fiske, Sun Prairie, 23.51.

Diving — 1. Av Osero, Neenah, 511.5. 2. McKenzie Sanchez, Case, 495.45. 3. Adrianna Avila, Cedarburg, 462.9. 19. Amaya Jerdee, Horlick, 256.85.

100 butterfly — 1. G. Pierobon Mays, Middleton, 55.04. 2. Lasecki, Bay Port, 55.12. 3. Katrina Marty, Madison West, 55.32.

100 freestyle — 1. Stegner, Menomonee Falls/Hamilton, 51.03. 2. Stupar, Stevens Point, 51.09. 3. Gustafson, Brookfield Central, 51.41.

500 freestyle — 1. Sophie Henshue, Verona Area/Mount Horeb, 4:58.29. 2. Alyssa Graces, Arrowhead, 5:03.13. 3. Isabel Cortina, Neenah, 5:05.08. 19. Jenna Hotvedt, Burlington Co-op, 5:18.93.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Middleton (Cora Mack, Smith, Hannah Aegerter, Caroline Hippen) 1:34.65. 2. Cedarburg (Maya Novack, Erika Remington, Sophia Remington, Kubiak) 1:36.48. 3. Menomonee Falls/Hamilton (Rachel Koch, Maya Barwick, Maddie Paarm, Stegner) 1:37.41.

100 backstroke — 1. Marty, Madison West, 53.88. 2. Hosack, Cedarburg, 53.98. 3. G. Pierobon Mays, Middleton, 55.27. 19. Morgan Dietzel, Burlington Co-op, 59.89. 22. Morgan Traughber, Burlington Co-op, 1:00.31.

100 breaststroke — 1. Bennin, Verona Area/Mount Horeb, 1:02.17. 2. Ella Stein, Hudson, 1:03.48. 3. Silvestri, Middleton, 1:03.71.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Cedarburg (Novack, Remington, Gwidt, Hosack) 3:24.46. 2. Middleton (Aegerter, Hippen, Mack, G. Pierobon Mays) 3:25.16. 3. Arrowhead (Megan Lucyshyn, Sydney Stoll, Cabush, Haley Stoll) 3:30.34.

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