STAMFORD—It would be incredibly hard to write a better script than this.
Greenwich freshman diver Whitaker Grover received two perfect 10.0 scores from judges and went on to be crowned champion at the FCIAC Boys Diving Championship Wednesday night at the Westhill pool.
Competing in his first-ever 11-dive championship competition, Grover fashioned a winning score of 535.60 points. New Canaan senior James Ragusa was FCIAC diving runnerup for the second straight year with 517.65 points.
Norwalk’s Kevin Bradley, currently diving at the University of Michigan, set the meet record with 562.25 points in 2019.
“It was a super tense event from start to finish,” Grover said. “It was a great, great field.”
Grover earned his first perfect 10.0 score in round two to jump out against the field of 28 divers. Grover received his second perfect 10 in round six after the field was cut to 21 divers. Only the top 16 divers took part in rounds nine thru 11.
Even with all that, Grover led Ragusa by nine points after five rounds and 16 points after eight rounds. Ragusa had a slight hiccup on his high-value (3.0) dive in round four.
Ragusa, who dove right after Grover all evening, had a 3.1 degree of difficulty dive in his pocket for round 11. This meant Grover had to do well on his 3.0 dive before him to secure the title.
“I knew Ragusa was going to do his favorite and best dive last. I figured I had a 10-point margin but I knew that wouldn’t be enough unless I hit my dive,” Grover said. “Since I never needed an 11th dive in any of my club team meets, the dive I had left wasn’t my favorite. I had worked on it a lot in Tuesday’s practice. And I put all my energy into it tonight.”
Grover’s triumph led a 54-point contribution to Thursday’s FCIAC Boys Swim Championship by the Greenwich divers.
Junior Joel Satir, who overcame a small score in his fourth round dive, was fifth with 430.15. Freshman Jayden Satir was sixth (419.75) while junior Aidan Kriskey (13th in the 2019 FCIAC diving) finished in 10th (364.20) for Greenwich.
“Whitaker (Grover) was sensational,” said GHS diving coach Kevin Thompson. “Considering Jayden Satir was also a freshman, to have four divers in the top 10 is a huge accomplishment.”
Ragusa, who will be diving at UMass-Amherst in the fall, led New Canaan to 60 points. Senior Jackson Camporin (4th last year) took third place at 457.55. Senior George Moore, who was third last year and overcame a small score on his third-round dive Wednesday, captured fourth place at 451.20. Jack Krug (415.60) was seventh with Christian Camporin 21st and Damian Widelski 26th for the Rams.
“Overall, my diving score was a personal best by 25 points. The competition in the FCIAC is so great,” Ragusa said. “We really push each other. Props to Whittaker (Grover) for winning the FCIAC diving as a freshman. We will all have motivation for the upcoming state diving meets.”