Sophomore Kierstan Lentz represented Elizabethtown Area High School well at the District 3 Class 3A Diving Championships at Wilson High School in Berks County on Saturday, Feb. 24, earning a fifth place finish with a final score of 385.90.
The top five finishers at districts also punched their tickets to states, so Lentz will be competing at the PIAA Class 3A Girls Diving Championship at Bucknell University, which is set to begin on Thursday, March 15.
“In the last part of my dive, I realized that this is just something that I really enjoy,” Lentz said. “Coming in fifth place and going to states feels amazing, and I’m really happy with how I did. I just hope to keep improving in the next couple of years.”
Lentz began the day well, getting an even score of 40 from the judges on her third attempt, a back dive pike. Her best of the competition came in the seventh round,where she received a 45.10 on an inward 1.5 somersault tuck.
There were a couple of hiccups toward the end; Lentz had two dives that dipped below scores of 30. In all, however, she had an average score of 35.08 on her 11 dives, enough to land her in the top five of a crowded field.
“My mindset coming in was really just to focus on my dives and worry about myself,” Lentz said. “I think dwelling on other competitors can get in my head, which doesn’t really help.”
This will be Lentz’s second straight appearance at Bucknell following last year where she also finished in fifth place at districts and 23rd at states. The prior experience should work in her favor as she prepares for this year’s competition.
“Last year, there were a lot of other competitors that psyched me out with their dives,” Lentz said. “I was too busy looking at their scores instead of my own. This time, I plan to just focus on myself, perform to the best of my ability and have fun.”
Fellow Elizabethtown sophomore Maya Kenley also competed at districts, placing 15th with a total score of 284.55. Senior Mary Warker of Wilson won her third straight title at 457.80, barely fending off junior Meredith Gould of Hershey, who finished at 456.70.