Penn-Trafford divers Kalik, Sherwin sweep WCCA titles
Over the past year, Penn-Trafford diver Paige Kalik has been adding to her long list of career achievements.
First, she won the 2018 WPIAL Class AAA diving title. Then, she reached the podium at the PIAA championships with a sixth-place finish.
Now, Kalik can add a new accolade to her resume: first place at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet.
The senior claimed the title Friday night at Derry, racking up a score of 515.95 to her first WCCA gold medal.
The decorated Warriors’ diver won by more then 93 points to secure the first-place finish that has eluded her the past two seasons, when she took second.
“I haven’t had my strongest performances here at this meet during my diving career. So, it feels good to finally get to the top of that podium. It’s really rewarding,” Kalik said.
“I was pretty comfortable for the whole meet, pretty much. I just had to stay relaxed, focus on my dives and worry about myself, and not anybody else.”
Latrobe’s Jordyn Miller claimed second with a score of 422.15 in the 11-dive format. The Wildcats’ junior finished third last season, behind her older sister, Taylor, who edged Kalik for the 2018 gold medal.
Rounding out the top six for the girls were Latrobe’s Lauren Bisignani (361.25), Derry’s Alison Cowan (351.30), and a pair of Franklin Regional divers, Elissa Novelli (336.35) and Julia Perry (323.70).
On the boys’ side, Penn-Trafford’s Logan Sherwin toppled all comers to double the Water Warriors’ haul of gold medals at the WCCA diving championships. Like his title-winning counterpart on the girls’ side, Sherwin also finished second at least season’s event.
The Warriors’ senior ended up switching places with last year’s WCCA champion, Franklin Regional’s Mason Fishell, who took second on Friday.
“It feels good to win it this time. Mason and I have been going back and forth over the years, competing in different meets against each other,” Sherwin said.
“He’s beaten me here at Counties, and at WPIALs before, and I’ve done the same to him. But it feels good to finally take first in this meet.”
Sherwin’s score of 546.45 shattered his point total from last season’s WCCA championship by more then 60 points. That was the goal, according to Sherwin, who said he spent his offseason working on more difficult dives specifically for occasions like this.
“Throughout this past summer and into this season, I made a lot of upgrades as far as new dives go,” Sherwin said.
“My degree of difficulty is a lot higher this year, so it’s opened up chances to score higher overall. I put in a lot of practice on those dives, so it’s great to see them pay off.”
Fishell’s score of 496.20 earned him second place. Also placing in the top six were Hempfield’s Grant Drexler (390.35), Derry’s Cameron Washburn (367.40), Penn-Trafford’s Xander Lentz (364.50) and Franklin Regional’s Carson Yohe (333.75).
The WCCA swimming championships will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at Derry.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.