Led by veteran Maya Ennis, North Allegheny divers shine at PIAA meet

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Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 10:05 PM


North Allegheny junior diver Maya Ennis shared the spotlight with freshmen Christina Shi and Zoe Ky for much of the season, but it was her turn to shine at the PIAA Class AAA championship meet March 14 at Bucknell.

Ennis earned a bronze medal on the girls 1-meter board with 431.40 points.

Shi (423.05) also made the podium, placing fifth. Ky (363.30) took 13th.

“I think it was definitely helpful for them to have somebody there who has gone through high school diving to answer questions and show them how it works,” said Ennis, a three-time PIAA qualifier who placed 13th last season. “They’re both so used to USA Diving.”

Tiger diving coach Patti McClure said Ennis’ experience in the WPIAL and PIAA championships was crucial.

Shi, Ennis and Ky swept the top three places in February’s WPIAL meet.

“We had 11 girls and two boys on the team, with no seniors,” McClure said. “(Assistant) Brian Wright and I did a good job preparing them for these meets, but I’m sure there were questions from an athlete standpoint.”

Shi said Ennis and Ky are good competitors.

“I didn’t do my best at states,” Shi said. “Next season, hopefully, all three of us can make the podium.”

Ennis said the three push each other.

“We all practice together (with the diving club) at Pitt, as well as North Allegheny,” Ennis said. “Our coach often uses us as examples for each other of what to do and sometimes what not to do on dives.

“Watching people as disciplined and talented as Christina and Zoe motivates me. Both girls are very experienced divers; I am actually newer to the sport than (they).”

McClure said it was fun guiding the trio.

“They are teammates in the (USA) Diving world,” McClure said. “They’re used to travelling together and supporting one another.

“Maya came to us from the gymnastics world. Not only is she a great diver, she is a great student (who) loves to help in the community.”

Ennis looks forward to improving.

“Hopefully, I will come back next season with some newer and cleaner dives,” she said.

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