Ligonier Valley’s Roddy, Latrobe’s Polosky win county diving titles

Friday, January 28, 2022 | 10:37 PM

Though he had to wait an extra year to win his second county diving championship, Ligonier Valley senior Nick Roddy never lost confidence in his abilities.

As the school’s lone male diver, Roddy was determined to come through again.

That he did, overpowering the pack Friday to repeat as the boys 1-meter diving champion at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association Swimming and Diving Championships at Derry.

“I went in pretty confident because I practiced a lot,” said Roddy, who amassed a score of 455.60 to finish more than 130 points higher than runner-up Jake Hauser of Derry, who totaled 321.85.

Latrobe junior Hannah Polosky claimed the girls 1-meter title with a score of 446.40, well ahead of runner-up Kayce Tomasic of Hempfield (351.80).

“It’s awesome,” Polosky said. “I really didn’t come in here thinking I was going to win counties, but I did my best and I won.”

Both divers already had qualified for the WPIAL championships in February.

Roddy also won the WCCA event as a sophomore in 2020 before covid-19 shelved plans for the 2021 meet.

“I was a little nervous because I took a year off,” he said, noting Ligonier Valley doesn’t field a full swimming and diving team. “But I went in pretty confident because I did practice a lot. I’ve got a lot of support from my coaches, my friends and my family, especially, so I guess I went in less worried than I was the first time.”

Roddy, who won the District 6 diving championship two years ago before Ligonier Valley switched membership to the WPIAL, said he is hoping to get another shot at a PIAA appearance, whether he finishes first or not in the WPIAL.

He qualified for the PIAA meet as a sophomore, entering the event ranked No. 8, but he never got an opportunity to compete because of covid-19.

“It got canceled when we were on the boards,” he said. “We spent two hours practicing on the boards, and then they wound up sending us home the next day.”

As Ligonier Valley’s lone male diver, Roddy goes the extra miles to compete.

“I’m the first and only so far,” he said. “We don’t even have a diving board.”

Or a swimming pool.

Roddy finds a way, though, attending diving practices at Derry or Latrobe and getting his swimming work in at Ligonier Valley YMCA.

Polosky placed fifth last year at the WPIAL meet and qualified for the PIAA meet, but she wasn’t able to attend because only the winner in each event participated in an abbreviated meet because of the pandemic.

“We’ll see how it goes this year,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot better because I’ve trained all summer. I try to train six days a week. My No. 1 goal is to get a scholarship somewhere.”

Other medal winners included Tanner Popella of Latrobe, Gino Piraino of Franklin Regional, Tanner Collins of Hempfield and Mac Miller of Franklin Regional in the boys event, and Quinlin Mulroy of Latrobe, Bella Vanek of Hempfield, Emily Rose of Franklin Regional and Paige Richter of Mt. Pleasant in the girls event.

The WCCA Championships continue Saturday at Derry with a full schedule of swimming events.

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