Diver Matthews falls short of state title repeat
Matthews, a sophomore at Williamsville North, placed second at last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Flickinger Aquatic Center with a score of 490.95. Kristen Meier of Valley Central, who placed second to Matthews last year, won with a score of 499.05.
“I think her higher degree of difficulties were higher than mine,” said Matthews. “I did the best I could. I’ve never swan a 490 at the state meet.”
Matthews was up by seven points heading into Saturday’s finals but Meier’s degree difficulty on her last dive (2.4-1.7) was higher than Matthews. Meier dove a backward somersault 2½ twist to Matthews’ inward 1½ pike.
“She did what I thought she could do,” said North head coach Doug Cassidy. “She hit all 11 dives. She was certainly disappointed not to defend her title but she showed a lot of class. Most divers would be crying and she didn’t do any of that. She congratulated Kristin when she won first place.”
Matthews placed third at the state meet in eighth grade and fifth as a seventh grader.
Three other Town of Amherst swimmers — Williamsville East’s Jennifer Anthone and Janelle Munroe, and Sweet Home’s Bethany Fried, also competed.
Anthone, making her third straight trip to the state meet, finished 16th in the finals of the 50-yard freestyle in 25.15. In preliminaries, she swam a 24.86. She failed to qualify for finals in the 100 free. Munroe, making her first appearance placed 29th at prelims in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:01.29.
Fried just made the finals cut in the 500 free with a 24th-place finish at prelims in 5:15.70. (The top 24 swimmers advance to finals.) She was 23rd in the 500 free finals in 5:18.81. She missed the finals cut in the 200 free with a 33rd place finish in 2:00.38.