Voisard Breaks County Diving Record as Blue Devils Roll at Championships
Fri. October 19, 2012 at 11:27 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
JAMES VOISARD of Winter Haven scored 308.5 points Friday to break the record of 295.5 set by Auburndale's Matt Reiter in 2007. (Photo by PAUL CRATE | NEWS CHIEF)
By LISA COFFEY
WINTER HAVEN | James Voisard achieved what he set out to do Friday
The Winter Haven High School diver broke the county diving record to win the county meet and give his teammates a boost in the points race as they head into today's Polk County Swimming Championships at the Rowdy Gaines Pool in Winter Haven.
Winter Haven's Hannah Bissett claimed the girls' title, edging Lakeland's Summer Thomas 184.9 to 174.6.
In all, the Blue Devils placed four female divers in the top six and four boys in the top eight.
Voisard scored 308.5 points with six dives to break the record of 295.5 points set by Matt Reiter of Auburndale in 2007. In breaking the record, the gymnast and water skier won the county championship for the third time.
"I'm thrilled to break the record," Voisard said. "I just tried my best and tried to have fun with it."
Voisard did his most difficult dives early on.
"I wanted to get the harder ones closer to the warmups and get them off my mind," he said. "I had planned on messing up one, and I was hoping I wouldn't. I was hoping for the best and planning for the worst."
Voisard, who is undefeated this season, practiced less this week, choosing instead to work on his entries and approaches.
"I wanted to make everything solid," he said.
In looking back, he wished his second dive, a reverse one-and-one-half pike, would have been better.
"I kind of over-rotated a little bit," he said. "I got a few 6.5's."
But he found the good in the score.
"If anything, it made me focus more," he said.
Junior Zak Kerst of George Jenkins placed second with 250.8 points and Frostproof's Robbie Costine finished third with 225 points.
The 6-foot-2 Kerst bounced off the competitive board for the last time.
"Swimming has more of a calling to me," he said. Kerst improved from ninth last year with cleaner, more solid dives and more confidence.
Bissett, a 4-foot-6 second-year diver and longtime gymnast with Florida Flips, almost gave up diving because of knee and wrist pain.
She underwent surgery to remove scar tissue in her right knee in May. She was scheduled to have surgery on her left knee as well, but her right knee had not heeled. With the diving season nearing, she postponed the second surgery until November.
She admitted she lacked confidence but not heart.
"Sometimes I'm still in pain, but it's not excruciating," she said. "But I push it."
Bissett and Voisard both train with former Olympian Mark Ruiz at the Orlando Aquatic Center.
"I don't think I'd be near as good without him," she said.