MIDDLETOWN — It was a year in the making but Farrah Volpintesta of the Immaculate-Bethel Co-op girls swim team can shout the following wonderful words from the rooftops:
“I am the State Open diving champion. I am the best female diver in the state of Connecticut!”
Volpintesta displayed passion, poise, power, technique and consistency over 11 rounds of dives Friday night at the Middletown High School pool to amass 530.55 points and conquer a field of 24 divers to become the 2018 State Open Diving champion.
“I was runner-up at last year’s Open. So this is a cherry on the top of a great season,” the junior said after receiving her gold medal. “Being State Open diving champ is a big deal. I had confidence in my dives. And I produced my best diving score ever.”
Watertown High senior Kelsey DeJesus was 42 points back in second place at 488.10. Brookfield junior Emma Gravgaard took third at 463.05.
Then the FCIAC made its presence known. Greenwich High senior Annabelle Pollack (461.70) was fourth followed by Darien High junior Julia Servas (457.40), New Canaan High sophomore Charlotte Frank (454.0) and Greenwich High junior Reggie Frias (445.80).
Greenwich High senior Maddie Muldoon (9th, 436.40) and GHS junior Kathryn Kirsch (435.10) completed the top 10 divers.
The Greenwich High swim team will welcome all those points from the Cardinals divers at the State Open Swim Championship at the Yale pool Saturday at noon. Greenwich is looking for its fourth consecutive State Open swim crown and 11th since 2005.
“It was a great meet. Our two seniors had a wonderful final meet,” said GHS diving coach Sergey Meshcherskiy. “Maddie was solid except for one dive. And Annabelle’s last five dives were amazing. And Reggie (Frias) and Kathryn (Kirsch) will be back to lead us next season.”
Pollack climbed the final standings with the help of two scores of perfect 10s on different dives.
“Since it was my last meet I was a bit nervous. I wanted to do my best,” Pollack said. “I had to dive with no fear. The perfect 10 scores were a great confidence boost. All four divers are best friends. We push and we support each other every day.”
Darien’s Servas served notice that she’ll be back looking to medal (top six finishers) in 2019.
“I’m very happy with fifth place in an amazingly tough competition,” Servas said. “I’m looking forward to my senior year.”
But ultimately, this Friday night belonged to Volpintesta, who won the Class L diving and entered 45 points ahead of everyone competing at the Open.
She fell just four points short of the Open diving and state record for diving (534.75) set by Westhill’s Rachel Burston in 2015.
“This Open title came with a lot of hard work and dedication during two practices a day. You have to really love this sport,” Volpintesta said. “I felt confident, but consistency is the key. It’s not all about perfect 10s. The high-value dives come together with power and technique. You have to make them pretty.”
STATE OPEN DIVING
1. Farrah Volpintesta, Immac-Bethel 530.55 points; 2. Kelsey DeJesus, Watertown 488.10; 3. Emma Gravgaard, Brookfield 463.05; 4. Annabelle Pollack, Greenwich 461.70; 5. Julia Servas, Darien 457.40;6. Charlotte Frank, New Canaan 454.00; 7. Regina Frias, Greenwich 445.80.
8. Austynn Lacasse, Bolton 441.00; 9. Madeline Muldoon, Greenwich 436.40; 10. Kathryn Kirsch, Greenwich 435.10; 11. Sienna Breton, Cheshire 435.05; 12. Ava Santacroce, North Haven 411.45; 13. Abigail Desyr, Westhill-Stam. 410.80; 14. Elisabeth Katz, Weston 400.45; 15. Zoe Baker, Hall 391.25.
16. Katelyn Cerulli, Trumbull 388.85; 17. Lana Schmidt, Darien 385.70; 18. Mary Huminski, Daniel Hand 384.85; 19. Tess Penders, East Catholic 381.45; 20. Olivia Quinn, New Canaan 378.85; 21. Kiera Sughrue, Newtown 376.90; 22. Alana Foodman, Joel Barlow 365.10; 23. Haley Jaquith, E.O. Smith-Tolland 343.85; 24. Katrina Scalise, East Hartford 298.10.