Darien Luz 2nd, NC’s Rhind 3rd at State Open diving
Published 1:23 pm, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
HARTFORD — It was a night of watching a master thrill an audience with his craft.
Daniel Hand junior Tianyi Zeng captured his third consecutive State Open diving title by dominating a field of the 24 best high school divers in the state Thursday evening at Bulkeley High’s James Brophy Natatorium.
Zeng racked up five perfect 10s from the panel of five judges during the course of his 11-dive tour-de-force. Zeng amassed 608.80 points to break his own State Open point mark of 607.60. Zeng still hasn’t reached the state point mark of 612.15 points set by Stephen Ettiene of Sacred Heart in 2011.
“It’s an honor to win for the third time,” Zeng said. “It’s been a hard year with all the SAT tests and final exams on my calendar along with diving. But my work ethic carried me through once more.”
Darien High junior Tim Luz earned second place with 467.35 points. He was 15 points ahead of New Canaan junior Cameron Rhind (452.35) but 141.5 points behind the mighty Zeng.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I’ve felt poorly health-wise all week. But the diving went much better than I expected,” Luz said. “It means the world to me to be able to say I’m the second-best diver in the entire state of Connecticut. I was in 14th place my freshman year and I’ve moved up the ladder since then. Second place is huge for me and for the team.”
Indeed. All the diving points earned Thursday count at Saturday’s State Open Boys Swim Championship at Yale’s Kiputh Pool beginning at 2:30 p.m.
“It was a great job by our guys,” Darien diving coach Adam Vance said. “11 dives is a long meet and our contingent pulled through.”
Scoring for Class L swim team champ New Canaan Thursday was Rhind (3rd, 452.35) and senior Griffin Edmonds (13th, 378.45).
State Open swim favorite Greenwich High received a solid boost as well. Sophomore Devon Satir, the Class LL diving runner-up, charged on his final six dives to capture a medal in sixth place with 443.75 points. Fellow sophomore Sergei Shaw took 15th place in the Open diving with 358.75 points.
“I’m proud of the effort,” said Greenwich diving coach Sergey Mescherskiy. “It was important to us to do our part to chase another State Open swimming title.”
In all, FCIAC divers took six of the top 10 positions.
Norwalk/McMahon Co-op freshman Kevin Bradley, the Class LL diving champ, finished 12th with 379.20 points in only his third meet where he had to perform 11 dives. He should be a force in the postseason next year.
Westhill-Stamford junior Andrew Kitain earned important experience while finishing 16th with 356.85 points.
Trumbull senior Jimmy Donahue closed out his high school diving career with an ambitious performance filled with high degree of difficulty dives. Donahue was 17th with 356.45 points.
State Open Diving Championship
1. Tianyi Zeng, Daniel Hand 608.80 points (3rd straight Open title); 2. Timmy Luz, Darien 467.35; 3. Cameron Rhind, New Canaan 452.35; 4. Wiley Schmidt, Darien 449.85; 5. Raymond Neistat, Newington 444.85; 6. Devon Satir, Greenwich 443.75; 7. Andrew Buehler, Sheehan 443.65; 8. Steven Kreuch, Darien 419.75; 9. Owen Stevens, Darien 411.65; 10. Liam Simmons, Weston 384.50; 11. Ian Humber, Newtown 380.00; 12. Kevin Bradley, Brien McMahon/Norwalk 379.20 13. Griffin Edmonds, New Canaan 378.45 14. Ethan Godfrey, Glastonbury 363.00 15. Sergei Shaw, Greenwich 358.75 16. Andrew Kitain, Westhill/Stamford 356.85 17. Jimmy Donahue, Trumbull 356.45 18. Lucas Billig, Weston 353.20 19. Luis DeJesus, Bulkeley/HMTCA 333.15 20. David Gallino, Sacred Heart 329.50 21. Nicholas Jefferson, Glastonbury 323.00 22. Brennan Sanders, Sacred Heart 318.35 23. Matthew Patton, Waterford 316.35 24. Tahj Mitchell-Westberry, Middletown 310.50.