Divers delivering for Derry

Monday, February 3, 2020 | 6:14 PM

Diving is a strength again for Derry, and longtime swimming and diving coach Jeff Kelly said it is among the most cohesive groups he has overseen.

Junior Alison Cowan, seniors Jakob Riggle and Cameron Washburn and freshman Ashley Baker qualified for the WPIAL Class AA diving championship Feb. 21 at South Park.

Cowan placed fifth in the girls 1-meter event last season and qualified for the PIAA championship.

She said she hopes to place higher this season and make it back to states.

Washburn came in 10th in the WPIAL boys 1-meter.

Cowan (third place) and Washburn (fourth) earned medals in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association diving championships Jan. 24 at Derry.

“We have three dual meets left,” Trojans diving coach Morgan Elrick said. “My goal for (all of the divers) is to perfect the 11 dives they will be doing and hopefully move on to the state meet at Bucknell in March.”

Among swimmers, junior Lauren Angus and seniors Jake Buhite and Wesley Buhite lead WPIAL qualifiers. The WPIAL swimming championships are the week of Feb. 24 at Pitt.

Angus is on a list of top times in WPIAL Class AA in the 50-yard freestyle (26.40 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.87).

Jake Buhite (200 freestyle, 1:54.24; 500 freestyle, 5:16.44; 100 breaststroke, 1:06.44; and 200 individual medley, 2:13.15) and Wesley Buhite (boys 100 breaststroke, 1:04.36 and 200 individual medley, 2:11.67) also are listed.

Wesley Buhite ranks fifth in the boys 100 breaststroke.

Sophomore Makenzie Eades (100 breaststroke, 1:16.50) made a WPIAL cut.

Among relays, the boys 200 freestyle team of Wesley Buhite, seniors Caleb Shaulis and Brandyn Findish and Jake Buhite (1:39.60) and the 400 freestyle team of Shaulis, Wesley Buhite, junior Jake Short and Jake Buhite (3:39.74) qualified. So did the girls freestyle relay team of Eades, sophomore Keely Siko, junior Abby Kubiak and Angus (1:51.45) and the 200 medley team of Siko, Eades, Angus and Kubiak (2:06.60). All four teams are listed among the top in the WPIAL.

Kelly said the boys and girls are underdogs who have jelled.

“They care about one another, work for another,” said Kelly, in his 27th year with the Trojans. “We may not beat everybody, (but) they’re winners.”

Kelly said Angus and Eades are shining examples.

Recently, after he gave the team the night off, Eades asked to stay to practice. Angus offered to join her and was the first out of the pool to congratulate her after she made a WPIAL cut the next day against Mt. Pleasant.

“We have fun together,” Angus said. “Mr. Kelly doesn’t push (but) tries to get us motivated.”

Said Cowan: “All the swimmers and divers get along. All of us hang out.”


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