STAMFORD -- The champion retains her title.
Westhill-Stamford sophomore Rachel Burston remained perfect on the stage of the FCIAC Diving Championship as she captured her second crown in two seasons Tuesday night.
"Actually I was very nervous coming into the meet. I'm very surprised that I dove so well," said Burston, proudly wearing both her FCIAC Championship gold medal and her fluffy Moose slippers she acquired from her brother Sean. "Competing here at my home pool helps. I know all the nuances and best spots on these diving boards. That made me confident as we went along."
It was a wonderful 11-round battle put forth by Burston and New Canaan's Kylie Towbin.
Burston finished with 423.15 points compared to 415.25 points for Towbin. Both totals were worthy of All-American consideration.
Burston's diving stock has soared like an S&P 500 chart.
She is a year older, a year wiser and has had a timely growth spurt. Burston literally powered her way to the 2013 FCIAC Diving crown.
"I'm so much stronger this year. I'm able to jump higher off the board," Burston said. "That has allowed me to increase the difficulty of the dives in my program repetoire."
Towbin had only one diving hiccup but that was enough to open the door for Burston, who will now try to defend her Class LL diving title. She was third at the 2012 State Open diving.
The newest comet on the FCIAC diving horizon is freshman Shannon Daine of Trinity Catholic High School. Daine was consistent throughout, taking third place with 329.55 points, just ahead of Fairfield Ludlowe's Kelsey Tague (326.55).
"I'm very happy with my performance," Daine said. "I had so many good dives."
Daine is a student at Trinity Catholic which doesn't field a girls swim team. Therefore, Daine has been competing as a one-girl team in the diving competitions at the Wilton High regular season swim meets. Daine began her diving career in third grade in Greenwich.
It was a fine evening for Westhill-Stamford, who garnered 34 points to the team points standings at Wednesday's FCIAC Swim Championship at the Greenwich High pool at 4 p.m. Darien collected 36 points while New Canaan managed 26 points in the final FCIAC Diving standings.
Westhill-Stamford senior Lauren Cunningham took fifth place with 307.95 points while Caroline Feldman placed 27th in her first postseason action.
"It means a lot to me to end my senior year in this fashion," said Cunningham, who succeeded despite a right hand injury. "I'm happy to have seen the Westhill-SHS diving program grow over the last four years. And I know Caroline and Rachel will carry it forward."
Rounding out the Top 10 were Darien's Molly Klein (303.35 points), Darien's Kyla Pech (302.65),Darien's Jennifer Schrenker (299.75), Wilton's Allison Courtney (297.45) and Greenwich's Ines Villemure (297.20).
FCIAC Diving Championship
At Westhill High pool
Top 16 score for FCIAC Swim Championship team standings. Darien 36 points, Westhill-Stamford 34; New Canaan 26.
Top 3 are All-FCIAC first-team. 4th-6th All-FCIAC Second Team.
1, Rachel Burston (Westhill) 423.15 points (All-American consideration); 2, Kylie Towbin (New Canaan) 415.25 points (All-American consideration); 3, Shannon Daine (Trinity Catholic) 329.55; 4, Kelsey Tague (Fair. Ludlowe) 326.55; 5, Lauren Cunningham (Westhill) 307.95; 6, Molly Klein (Darien) 303.35; 7, Kyla Pech (Darien) 302.65; 8, Jennifer Schrenker (Darien) 299.75; 9, Allison Courtney (Wilton) 297.45; 10, Ines Villemure (Greenwich) 297.20; 11, Katie Kushner (New Canaan) 293.15; 12, Emma Lubash (St. Joseph) 284.35; 13, Olivia Crosby (Staples) 283.10; 14, Olivia Park (New Canaan) 276.70; 15, Kimberly Cortelessa (Fair. Ludlowe) 273.20; 16, Claire Hempford (Trumbull) 271.40.