NU’s Lujan repeats as section diving champ
May 11, 2014
The Nevada Union dive team capped off a sensational season Saturday with top finishes at the Sac-Joaquin Section Finals.
Diving at McClatchy High School, Nevada Union junior Mikaela Lujan dominated the girls varsity competition, scoring 472.3 on her way to a second straight section title. The next closest diver was Rachel Choi from Rio Americano with a score of 390.4. Lujan's score was the highest for the overall meet, topping boys section winner Nevada Schultz (471.75).
"This is very unusual," NU dive coach William Heinz said in an email. "I do not remember the girl winner ever outscoring the boy winner. The additional strength that the boys have usually allows them to do more difficult dives and therefore get higher scores. The total score for each dive is derived by accumulating the judges scores and multiplying by the degree of difficulty. Each dive has an assigned degree of difficulty so normally the boys do more difficult dives and therefore get more points. The boys did have a very slight difficulty advantage over Lujan, but for the most part she does the same dives as the boys, and in many cases does them better and with more grace."
Nevada Union senior Austin Foote placed third in the boys varsity competition with a score of 454.05, and Josh Hartman placed third for NU in the boys junior varsity competition.
"Foote completed his meet, his season, and his high school diving by getting great scores, 7s and 8s, on his double twisting 1 and 1/2 somersault, which put him less than a point from second place and very close to first place," Heinz said. "It was a great way to finish a season in which he set both the six dive and 11 dive school records. Next year Austin will attend Sierra College and dive for Rolland King, who has had great success there coaching a number of NU divers including Molly Swartz who was California State Junior College Champion."
Both Lujan and Foote won Sierra Foothill League titles earlier this season and will be submitting material for All-American status consideration.
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After Leonard defeated the defending section champion, Vista Del Lago's Sandeep Gurram, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals, he took on Placer's Andrew Carducci in the finals and lost, 6-1, 6-1.
Carducci defeated Union Mine's Spencer McLain in the semis in three sets.
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