North Allegheny’s Christina Shi captures 3rd straight PIAA diving title
Friday, March 17, 2023 | 4:01 PM
LEWISBURG — The WPIAL populated the medals podium Friday afternoon at the PIAA Class 3A girls diving championships as all four entries from the district earned medals.
North Allegheny senior Christina Shi led the WPIAL quartet with her third straight state championship.
Latrobe senior Hannah Polosky was second, North Allegheny sophomore Lola Malarky took third, and fellow Tigers sophomore Juliet Hood was seventh.
Shi, a Harvard commit, said this year’s competition was somewhat of a bittersweet feeling.
“It was my last high school meet ever, and I am a little sad about that, but I am super excited and happy with the way it ended,” said Shi, who took the lead after the fourth round and pulled away for a 16-point final margin over Polosky — 264.45 to 248.40.
Shi caps her four-year high school diving career with four WPIAL championships and now three straight gold medals at states.
She placed fifth at the PIAA meet as a freshman. The Class 3A girls diving competition in 2020 was notable as it was the final event contested before the PIAA shut down the meet in the wake of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
“As a freshman, I didn’t really think that I would be this successful,” she said. “I just took it year by year, each year by itself and didn’t think about it overall.”
The top three at states mirrored the top three from WPIALs as Shi also topped runner-up Polosky and bronze medalist Malarky for the title Feb. 24 at North Allegheny.
Polosky’s 248.40 points over her six dives allowed her to move up from sixth place in her PIAA debut last year.
“I think I dove really, really well,” said Polosky, who will dive at Pitt starting next year.
“A lot of my scores sometimes didn’t reflect the way that I dove, the dives that I did, and my entries into the water. There’s nothing really you can do about it at the end of the day.
“I came in here hoping to get top three, at least. I only started diving my sophomore year, so being able to come here twice and compete with the best in the state and finish with a second is huge.”
Polosky would’ve dove at states as a sophomore in 2021. She took fifth at WPIALs that year, but the PIAA only took district champions because of covid logistics, including the move of the state meet to Cumberland Valley.
Malarky was right on Polosky’s heels through the final dives and scored 245.95 points. She edged out fourth-place Avery Hillier, a sophomore from Conestoga in District 1, by less than a point.
She finished eighth last year in her PIAA debut.
Hood, the fourth-place finisher at WPIALs, originally wasn’t set to compete at states as the WPIAL was allocated only three automatic bids. She was one of the first alternates.
However, with spots opening up from other districts, Hood was given the opportunity to compete.
North Allegheny diving coach Patti McClure said she didn’t squander the chance.
“We didn’t know she was in until the psych sheets came out a week and a half later,” McClure said.
“She continued to work hard and stay ready in case she was given the change.”
The PIAA changed the diving format this year from the traditional 11 dives to six. McClure said her divers handled the change well.
“It is a format where you can’t mess up,” she said. “One mess up, and there is no time to come back, which is unfortunate. That is where you saw some of the other kids have some real struggles mentally because they were doing things they probably would never do. That can happen to anybody. These girls were troopers, and Hannah (Polosky) really did well, too. It was all about being able to take it one dive at a time and focus.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: Latrobe, North Allegheny
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