MIDDLETOWN — A champion by the slimmest of margins.
Greenwich senior diver Regina Frias capped a wonderful season Thursday night by winning the gold medal by one point at the 2019 State Open Diving Championship at Middletown’s Baldwin-Parmalee pool.
Frias staged a furious rally that included a dive that produced two perfect 10 scores from the judges on her way to 504.25 points to edge Weston senior Elizabeth Katz (503.15) and become the best high school diver in Connecticut.
Diving last in the field of 25 athletes, Frias scored 50 points on the last of her 11 dives to win.
“I was worried during every dive. That’s my process. I don’t look at the scores on the scoreboard at all,” Frias said. “It’s crazy. It’s shocking that the entire event came down to a single point. (Weston’s) Katz dove so well. I’m really proud of this accomplishment.”
Katz, the Class S diving champ, was consistent as she led the Open competition Thursday from round 4 to the final dive of round 11.
Katz, who will be diving at UConn next fall, should have no regrets after scoring more than 47 points on her final dive.
“It was close. It was fun,” Katz said. “I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t qualify for the Open diving as a freshman or sophomore. And last year I didn’t dive well. So to close out my high school career with a season like this is so nice.”
The Greenwich divers did a good job amassing points Thursday for the Cardinals to take into Sunday’s State Open swim championship at Yale, where Class LL champ Cheshire awaits.
Besides Frias, Greenwich senior Saylor Kirsch was third (481.35), sister Casey Kirsch was 12th and Javiera Garcia took 20th place.
“I’m excited. I improved my diving score by 40 points from the Class LL diving (which she won). My goal was to finish my career diving better,” said Saylor Kirsch, who will be diving at Fordham University next fall. “It was exciting to see Reggie win and have the seniors close out in this fashion. The secret is we push and we support each other with the idea of keep developing every day.”
Brookfield senior and Class M diving champ Emma Gravgaard made her best dives in the final five rounds to rally strong and earn fourth place with 474.15.
“I did struggle early. My last three dives I just went hard and it worked. I’m pleased with my overall finish,” said Gravgaard, who will be diving at the University of Pittsburgh next fall. “The season was close to what I envisioned. I’m thrilled to be Class M diving champ. The Open tonight was a bonus. It was gravy for me. Just go out and do my best.”
Completing the top six medal winners Thursday night were Class L champ Charlotte Frank of New Canaan (5th place, 461.90) and North Haven’s Ava Santacroce (6th place, 452.40).