Franklin Regional diver Fishell exceeds expectations

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Monday, February 5, 2018 | 11:00 PM


Franklin Regional junior Mason Fishell spent so much time on the diving board, his parents encouraged him to join the Panthers' diving team.

Some years later, Fishell is happy they did.

Fishell recently took first place in the 1-meter event at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship meet. He expects to be among top contenders for the WPIAL Class AAA title later this month.

“I really enjoy diving,” he said.

Franklin Regional diving coach Frank Nelson said Fishell is self-driven and likes to perform.

He admires Fishell's willingness to try difficult dives.

In the county meet, he said, Fishell nailed an inward 2 12 somersault on his 10th dive to take command.

Fishell said he was afraid and could hear the crowd react as he threw himself toward the board.

Fishell scored 509.20 points for 11 dives, better than he expected.

Penn-Trafford junior Logan Sherwin — the top returning competitor — came in second with 481.40 points.

Fishell said he is preparing for the WPIAL championship, where he hopes to place in the top five for the second consecutive year.

Fishell would like to dive in college but said he is receiving more letters about swimming.

Fishell picked up a medal as part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team at the county championship and has qualified for WPIALs in the 50 freestyle.

“I enjoy swimming, (but) I think diving is my favorite,” he said.

Nelson said Fishell is like a little machine. He said he knows he is tired when he does not give it his all.

Franklin Regional swimming coach Vic Santoro said it is rare for an athlete to swim and dive.

“Mason is a great kid and a very hard worker,” he said. “He is extremely coachable, and his teammates love him.

“He is a team leader.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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