Pine-Richland diver Shaw qualifies for PIAA meet
Sunday, February 25, 2018 | 11:00 PM
In a field stacked with the best divers in WPIAL Class AAA, Pine-Richland's Austin Shaw did more than hold his own.
The senior cemented his status as one of the top divers in Western Pennsylvania by finishing fifth Saturday at WPIAL championships at North Allegheny.
Shaw's score of 442.70 trailed Fox Chapel's Jonah Cagley (536.85), Mt. Lebanon's Owen Johns (514.70), Fox Chapel's David Manelis (501.80) and Mt. Lebanon's Lucas Bumharner (482.50) in a group of 26 divers.
“I'm happy with my finish, definitely,” Shaw said. “I get to go to states again, and states should definitely be fun.
“I felt like the scoring was fair. Jonah, Owen, David and Lucas, they all deserved the scores they got, and I know they all work really hard at what they do.
“It wasn't my best performance. I feel like I could have done better, but I'm still happy with where I placed.”
As a result of his fifth-place finish, Shaw secured the last spot reserved for WPIAL divers at the PIAA Class AAA championships, which begin March 14 at Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell.
A Westminster commit, Shaw will make his second consecutive appearance at the PIAA diving championships.
Last year, he finished 16th.
This season, he has focused on adding dives to his list that contain a high degree of difficulty, giving him an opportunity to inflate his final score if he can manage to nail them down.
“It's my senior year. I kind of want to go out with a bang, I guess,” Shaw said.
“My 305c and 205c, those are both new dives for me. I think it was probably two weeks ago that I threw them for the first time.
“I think the main goal between now and states is to sharpen those up, and try to make sure the rest of my dives continue to get better, too. I'm still getting comfortable with them, so they're not my best dives, but I'll work on it until I can throw them well.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.