Fairfield Prep's Bowtell wins Open diving, New Canaan's Kalinowski sixth
MIDDLETOWN -- The false alarm that sounded in Round 10 of the State Open Diving Championships was the only thing able to slow down Jake Bowtell's trek toward the title.
The alarm, which halted Thursday's meet at Middletown High School for 25 minutes, just delayed the inevitable, as Fairfield Prep's top diver had a feeling it was his night from the start.
Hitting his first dive -- a forward 1 1/2 -- set the tone for a memorable evening for Bowtell, who captured the State Open championship with an impressive 11-dive score of 491.10.
"It feels great to win the title, this was my last high school meet, so to go out on top is the best feeling in the world," Bowtell said. "This has been one of my goals since I joined the team."
Darien's Lee Christensen was the runner-up with a score of 449.95. Greenwich was represented by two divers and they both excelled.
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Westhill/Stamford junior Sean Burston, who was seeded first, did not compete Thursday due to an injury. Burston, who won the Class LL title Monday at Middletown High with a score of 560.75, sustained an injury sometime during the past two days.
Bowtell, who placed third in the State Open last season and fourth two years ago, began the meet by earning three scores of 7 and and 8 with his forward 1 ½ in Round 1.
In the third round, he provided one of the meet's finest moments, drawing a 10 from one of the judges with his well-executed inward dive from the pike position.
"I just tried to consistent throughout the meet and focused on staying within myself."
Bowtell said he didn't feel any undue pressure to come out on top after learning the favored Burston wasn't going to dive.
"I really didn't know it until I got to the pool," Bowtell said. "It was a shame that happened. But I knew I had a chance to capitalize on an opportunity."
Christensen, who tied for first at the FCIAC championships and won his class meet at states, nailed his dives throughout, earning a 9,8 and 7.5 in the opening round.
"I had a very strong meet, my last dive was my best dive of the day, so I was happy to end the meet that way," said Christensen, who drew two scores of 9 with his inward 1 ½ from the pike position in Round 11. "It was a good season for me and I'm looking forward to improving next year."
Aselin scored a 9, 8.5, and 7.5 with is inward dive from the pike position in the first round. He built on his success on the 1-meter board throughout.
"This was the best I've ever done in any state meet, so I'm proud of my performance," Aselin said.
Like his competitors, Aselin focused on not getting caught up in the moment.
"There's a lot of pressure, but I tried not to think about it and just concentrated on executed my best dives," Aselin said. "This has been my best season on the team. Coach has really helped me improve on all of my dives."
Bologna was a pleasant surprise in his second season on the team for GHS.
Action was suspended for 25 minutes when a fire alarm in the school went off at the start of the 10th round. The divers and spectators were asked to go outside, before being sent to the school's gymnasium. When the meet resumed, Bowtell picked up where he left off.
"We all tried to stay ready, the delay didn't really hurt us," said Bowtell, who relaxes by listening to music between dives.
The State Open Swimming Championships will be held Saturday at Yale University at 2:30 p.m.
State Open diving results
1. Jake Bowtell (Fairfield Prep) 491.10; 2. Lee Christensen (Darien) 449.95; 3. Jeff Aselin (Greenwich) 439.10; 4. Daniel Kinney (Middletown) 430.65; 5. Samuel Hoyt (Glastonbury) 425.55; 6. Tom Kalinowski (New Canaan) 408.85; 8. Dean Conte (Branford) 391.55; 9. Joseph Stein (Shelton) 386.05; 10. Spencer Beaulieu (Xavier) 380.90; 11. Kyle O'Donnell (Darien) 376.75; 12. Monica Marcello (Middletown) 371.15; 13. Peter Gallino (Sacred Heart) 352.30; 14. Tanner Blank (Fairfield Prep) 346.75; 15. Kristen Sheehan (New Fairfield) 345.95; 16. Robert McCrory (Fairfield Prep) 338.65; 17. Cameron Schoffstall (Simsbury) 317.95; 18. Misha Moffly (Weston) 317.20; 19. Dylan Luce (East Lyme) 315.70; 20. Sheldon Walters (East Hartford) 303.75; 21. Chris Grazioso (Lyman Hall) 296.50; 22. Samantha Bean (Pomperaug) 294.10; 23. Sam Baluzy (Brookfield) 282.60; 24. Steve McCusker (Woodland) 278.75.