Led by Emily Smallwood, Pine-Richland divers have successful WPIAL meet

Sunday, March 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Senior Emily Smallwood and sophomores Kendyll Jerry and Jake Jones advanced to the final round of 16 divers at the WPIAL Class 3A diving championships at North Allegheny High School on Feb. 25.

Smallwood finished best among the Rams qualifiers, placing eighth with a score of 380.25. Jerry was right behind her in ninth at 376.75. Jones finished 16th among the boys with a score of 288.95.

“It was a really good experience, and I had a lot of fun,” Jones said. “It was a good first time for me.”

What’s impressive about Jones’ finish is that this was his first year diving competitively or otherwise.

“This was my first-ever diving season and I couldn’t have asked for a better season,” he said.

For Smallwood, it was the third time in her four years that she appeared in the championships, although covid wiped out another after qualifying in 2021.

“It’s been really fun,” Smallwood said of her scholastic career. “I’m glad we got to all go together this year. It’s a good group of people and a lot of fun to be together.”

Jerry has had top 10 finishes in each of her two seasons after placing eighth in 2022.

Smallwood was succinct in praise of her teammate.

“She’s amazing,” she said.

Jones is intent on returning to the diving team next year and will use the offseason to help accomplish his goals.

“I’ll probably train with Vern (Yenick), who’s the Fox Chapel coach at Settler’s Cabin, which is the wave pool with the high dives. That’s where I go in the summer,” Jones said. “I’ll also train with Maria (Misenhelter), my head coach at Pine-Richland, every Saturday.”

Smallwood plans to attend college after she graduates from Pine-Richland.

“I don’t know where yet,” she said. “I haven’t made plans to dive in college either, but you never know.”

She wants to pursue a major in the business field.

As for advice for her younger teammate Jerry, Smallwood offered the following:

“I would tell Kendyll to stay confident and continue to work hard as she already does, and she’ll inevitably continue to get better.”


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