New Canaan's Towbin wins Open diving championship
PLAINVILLE -- All one needed to see the smile on Kylie Towbin's face to know that this was a night the New Canaan High School sophomore would never forget.
Her smile shown even brighter than the gold medal around her neck as Towbin captured the State Open diving championship Friday night at the Plainville High pool.
"It's a big high for me," Towbin said. "I love the last three dives I made. Those are the dives I've depended on all season. This is the best feeling."
Other top FCIAC achievers included senior Ariana Ross of New Canaan (6th, 385.10), senior Meredith Jonker of New Canaan (7th, 380.25), Darien senior Caroline Ashcraft (8th, 377.00 points), Darien sophomore Kyla Pech (9th, 334.0), Greenwich senior Megan Maloney (10th, 326.20), Darien junior Molly Klein (13th, 318.80) and Westhill junior Lauren Cunningham (15th, 314.75).
"All the New Canaan girls did well. Our seniors led Kylie (Towbin) in the right direction," said New Canaan diving coach Joe Somma. "I did change the order of Kylie's dives tonight. And it resulted in her finishing strong."
For Burston, the 2012 FCIAC and Class LL diving champion, it was a good learning experience.
"I did have a rough start. It took a while to settle into this new atmosphere and these different diving boards," Burston said. "I decided to forget about it. And just do my best with the remaining dives."
Burston was about 25 points out of first place after eight of the 11 dives.
But she closed with a rush, earning 49 points and 53 points on her final two dives.
It was enough to catch Towbin, who did score a perfect 10 among her five scores on round 7.
"Kylie was working so hard. She had an amazing meet," Burston said. "I'm so proud for her."
There is no rest for either Towbin or Burston as they will face each other again Saturday in a diving meet in New Jersey.
"Rachel really hit her last dive," New Canaan's Somma said. "Rachel and Kylie have challenged and pushed each other all season. Rachel was just a little too far back when she made her final surge."
All the diving points will be important for Saturday's State Open swimming at the Yale University pool.
New Canaan had three divers in the top seven while Darien finished 8th, 9th, 13th and 18th as the Blue Wave battles Greenwich for the team crown.
It was the perfect night. The seniors closed their prep diving careers strong and Generation Next (Towbin, Burston) showed they are ready to carry the baton.
"Rachel has time. She just couldn't rally enough tonight," said Westhill diving coach Jim Bowser. "Lauren Cunningham was very consistent. It was a good year for both girls."
State Open diving at Plainville
1. Kylie Towbin (New Canaan) 436.20; 2. Amanda Craig (Amity) 433.25; 3. Rachel Burston (Westhill/Stamford) 430.40; 4. Kalli Roebelen (Windsor) 409.05; 5. Caroline Gonsalves (East Lyme) 395.05; 6. Ariana Ross (New Canaan) 385.10; 7. Meredith Jonker (New Canaan) 380.25; 8. Caroline Ashcraft (Darien) 377.00; 9. Kyla Pech (Darien) 334.00; 10. Megan Mahoney (Greenwich) 326.20; 11. Brianna Buehler (Sheehan) 323.95; 12. Haley Boland (Kennedy) 323.70; 13. Molly Klein (Darien) 318.80; 14. Keturah Sarno (Weston) 318.25; 15. Taylor Hadra (Conard) 316.60; 16. Lauren Cunningham (Westhill/Stamford) 314.75; 17. Shannon Bouvier (Conard) 314.00; 18. Olivia Piazza (Darien) 311.55; 19. Kelsey Tague (Fairfield Ludlowe) 309.00; 20. Harper Hansen (Hamden) 290.25; 21. Noelle Benson (Newtown) 288.50; 22. Alison Profita (New Milford) 286.00; 23. Erin Mostoller (Cheshire) 264.95; 24. Taylor DiChello (Bristol Eastern) 250.70.