South Fayette’s Stephen Zombek & Mohawk’s McKenzie Stelter Win WPIAL Class AA Diving Gold

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 | 1:26 AM


The winter WPIAL diving championships began early Friday afternoon at South Park High School in South Park with nine invitations to the PIAA state diving championships up for grabs.

The boys field saw a lot of familiar faces carry over from the 2012 competition into 2013's. With the exception of South Park's Bill Rountree, the top six divers from last year were in the field this year. The success of each of these divers had indeed carried over into Friday's dive. The sixteen diver field had a lot of great dives and a few duds during the duration of the competition. Going into the semifinals and the final round the group had narrowed itself down to three divers vying for the number one spot.

South Fayette's Stephen Zombek finished first as Beaver's Micah Ringer, and Blackhawk's Dewey Fry proved to be the top divers in this year's competition. Last year, Zombek finished 2nd to Rountree, Fry 4th and Ringer finished 5th in 2012. In 2013, Zombek was able to overcome his tragic 2012 .15 point finish to Rountree and take home the 2013 WPIAL diving crown. Zombek and his 353.25 points was able to best Micah Ringer by slightly under 11 points to take home top honors. Ringer of Blackhawk finished the day with 342.65 total points. Senior Dewey Fry came in 3rd with 305.40 points.

With the top 3 spots locked in, 6 more selections are made to advance to the PIAA state finals. These final spots belong to Josh Vasko of Elizabeth Forward, Daniel Jones of Uniontown, P.J. Grossman of Indiana, Ringgold's Jonathan Simmons, Joshua Bergfelt of Blackhawk, with the final spot going to Tyler Jorgenson of Brentwood.

A few hours after the conclusion of the boy's WPIAL diving championships came the girl's turn to compete for WPIAL medals as well as a selection into the PIAA state diving finals. The girl's competition proved to be a lot more intriguing and more intense than the boy's. The field consisted of a 3 diver chase to the number one spot with the competition coming down to the final dive of the afternoon to decide a winner. Mohawk's McKenzie Stelter (who finished 3rd in 2012) was able to best Heather Lonkert of Moon on her final dive to win the competition with a final total score of 419.85. Lonkert led the competition all the way down to dive number 11 and then Stelter comes uo huge with a final dive with a judge's score in the 40's to overtake Lonkert and take the crown. South Fayette's Grace Klimek came in third after nearly being in the mix for 1st the entire duration of the contest herself. Like the boy's competition, the top 9 divers move on to states. Joining Stelter, Lonkert, and Klimek at the PIAAs are the following: Mogran Elrick of Derry, Brittany Hart of Riverside, Rachel Trice from Derry, Quaker Valley's Haley Ashner, West Allegheny's Megan Wurst, and rounding out the top 9 is Thomas Jefferson's Sam Etzi.

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