Fox Chapel’s Manelis, North Allegheny’s Shi repeat as WPIAL diving champs

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Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 6:48 PM


The 2021 WPIAL Class AAA diving championships were full of repeats.

For the second consecutive year, Fox Chapel senior David Manelis put forth a dominant performance to win the boys title, and the North Allegheny trio of Christina Shi, Maya Ennis and Zoey Ky finished 1-2-3 in the girls meet.

Manelis, who won by 100 last year, finished 122.30 points ahead of second-place finisher North Allegheny sophomore Will Scheck (449.45) in Saturday’s finals at North Allegheny.

Seneca Valley senior Trevor Elliott was eighth after the preliminary round but gained five spots between the semifinals and finals to earn bronze with a score of 396.15.

Penn-Trafford’s Xander Lentz (387.7) placed fourth, and Seneca Valley sophomore Jeremiah Laslavic (379.05) edged older brother Matthew for fifth.

Manelis’ biggest moment of the afternoon was scoring 67.6 in the eighth round. He was awarded a 60 to begin the finals. He also had four other dives that scored 50 or better and scored less than 40 only once in a day when he led after 10 of the 11 rounds en route to a 571.75 score.

“Everything went pretty smooth,” Manelis said. “It was a little rough the first couple dives. Then I broke in a little bit, and it went smoothly after that.”

Shi, a sophomore, finished at 532.65 to win her second title in as many tries. She had multiple dives scored in the 50s, including her final one, which was an inward one-and-a-half.

“It feels great to win. I was definitely a lot more confident this year compared to last year,” Shi said. “I was a little nervous at first, but after the first round, I calmed down.”

Ennis finished at 495.6, and Ky had 466. The Tigers trio traded the lead early in the preliminary rounds, but Shi led after every round after the fourth.

“It’s rough sometimes, but we all make each other better,” Shi said about going against her teammates. “We’re all good friends. At practice, it’s kind of competitive but all for the good, though.”

Seneca Valley’s Ashley Felitsky finished fourth at 396.25, and Hannah Polosky had 395.35 to edge her Latrobe teammate, Ashley Bisignani, for fifth.

Manelis and Shi are the lone representatives from the WPIAL advancing to their respective PIAA Class AAA meet with a shortened field because of the pandemic.

After earning state bronze last year on the day before scholastic sports were shut down because of coronavirus, Manelis is looking forward to another opportunity at states.

“I wish they would’ve taken more kids (from the WPIAL), but I’m excited to go back this year,” Manelis said. “I know it’s at a different pool than it was last year, and I’m looking forward to going.”

Shi is excited to get another shot at states after what she described as a disappointing finish in her first try last year.

“Mentally, I felt like I wasn’t strong enough (at states) last year,” Shi said. “Freshman year compared to sophomore year, I’m definitely more confident in everything, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Watch an archived video stream broadcast of the WPIAL Class AAA boys and girls diving championships on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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