NCS swimming: Montgomery swimmer medals at diving championships

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

As he came forward to accept his fifth-place medal after the North Coast Section diving championships Thursday in Concord, Montgomery’s Tanner MacDonald had a smile from ear to ear.

“I was stoked,” the senior said. “The competition was so strong, I had my doubts about getting a medal. I’m thrilled with fifth place against such a great group of divers.”

Thirty-one divers qualified for NCS with MacDonald finishing with 383.95 points. The gold medal went to San Rafael’s Max Adler with a score of 455.50.

Three other North Bay League athletes were also in the 1-meter competition. Cardinal Newman’s Ryan Johnson finished 19th with a score of 195.75 while his teammate Charlie Schroeter wound up 24th with 116.15 points. Ukiah’s Chase Hatcher was 28th with 103.10.

Two Maria Carrillo athletes were among the 47 divers in the girls division. Jasmine Yount picked up 129.35 points to finish 24th and Elizabeth Petty had 102.20 and finished 45th.

This was MacDonald’s fourth trip to NCS and his second-highest finish.

He was 13th as a freshman, eighth as a sophomore and fourth as a junior.

“My diving this year was better than it was when I placed fourth,” MacDonald said. “The competition was that much stronger.

“At the start of the day I was a little nervous when I saw who I’d be diving against. Then, after my first dive, I relaxed and just had fun.”

MacDonald easily made it through the first round where divers with the lowest scores were eliminated.

“I got my highest score on the first dive of the second round,” he said. “I did a reverse dive tuck and got an 8 and 7½ out of 10.

“I also had some of my best dives of the year in the third round and that got me up to fifth place.”

Medals were given to the top eight finishers.

MacDonald began diving in the seventh grade.

“I loved it and was really serious,” he said. “In high school it turned out to be more fun than serious.”

It was when MacDonald hooked up with coach Nolan Irwin that he began to improve.

“He taught me every dive I know,” MacDonald said. “He improved my form and as the dives got tougher, he helped me get mentally tough.”

MacDonald will dive for Santa Rosa JC next year.

Johnson, who finished 19th, made it past the first round but then was eliminated.

“I was happy to get as far I did,” the senior said. “I feel it was a great accomplishment given the level of competition. I saw the best divers in the North Coast Section and felt I could compete with them.

“I wanted to make sure I got through the first round, so I did my best dives first.” His best score came on a reverse.
Johnson was on the Newman swim team as a freshman and moved over to diving as a sophomore.

The swimmers take center stage at the NCS meet today with the preliminary rounds. The finals are Saturday.

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