Winter Haven's Voisard Captures 2A-7 District Diving Title
Thu. October 25, 2012 at 4:00 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
BY LISA COFFEY
WINTER HAVEN | A playful James Voisard wore a cardboard crown during Wednesday’s Class 2A diving warm ups at the Rowdy Gaines Pool.
It was a telling sight since the Blue Devil was unofficially crowned champion of the Class 2A, District 7 diving meet later in the afternoon.
The Winter Haven junior reached his goal of 500 points for 11 dives with a score of 512.75 to win the event, giving him an automatic berth into the Class 2A regional event Nov. 2 in St. Petersburg.
Madison Clayton of St. Cloud won the girls’ division with 365.5 points.
Byron Cobb of Sebring placed second for the boys with 420.9 points. Sara Bohan of Sebring took second for the girls with 362.75 points.
The top two divers from each division automatically advance to the regional event.
The remaining divers who reach the 280 score plateau in the districts are put into an at-large pool. After all the district meets are completed and the automatic spots are filled, the next top 18 divers advance to the regional meet. The results are expected to be posted Oct. 29.
Winter Haven’s Hannah Bissett, who captured the county title, placed third with 345.90 points. Summer Thomas of Lakeland and Emily Ober of Winter Haven are eligible for the at-large pool for the girls.
Blue Devils Alex Branstrator, who took fourth, and Morgan Osborn, who placed ninth, are also eligible for a regional berth along with Kathleen’s Jacob Kowalski and Calin Walling.
In a meet that was anything but calm and quiet with nearby construction, a car accident near the Chain of Lakes Complex, horns, the Class 1A meet at the facility and wind gusts, the concentration of the divers was challenged.
“You can’t let it get to you,” Voisard said. “That’s how you practice every day.”
However, both Voisard and Bissett had to regroup after some minor mishaps with which dives they were to perform.
Voisard’s third dive was to be a pike, as listed on the announcer’s sheet, but it was a tuck on his own sheet. He had a similar situation on his fifth dive.
“He’s pretty resilient,” said his mother, Dawn, who is the team’s dive coach.
Voisard scored better than 500 points for the first time in his three years of diving.
“I’m encouraged,” he said.
Voisard also broke 60 points for a single dive for the first time when he scored 65.10 on his ninth dive, an inward, two-and-a-half somersault with a 3.1 degree of difficulty. He scored an eight with the dive.
“That was a real shocker,” he said.
He also posted two eights on his first dive, a reverse, one-and-a-half somersault with a 2.4 degree of difficulty. He added an eight and a nine with his forward, one-and-ahalf somersault. He earned a nine with his inward pike and another nine with his forward one-and-a-half somersault with two twists.
Bissett showed heart while competing on a knee that underwent surgery this past summer. While still recovering, she had thrown her back double somersault only four times this season. She earned a three sevens with it Wednesday.
“She nailed it,” Voisard said.
She also scored several 6.5s on a dive that was questioned on the dive sheet as to whether it was a forward or backward dive. Branstrator improved his score of 318 from last year to 351.75 this year.
Summers, a freshman, was solid in his first 11-dive meet with a score of 355.20. Osborn also reached 300 for the second time with a score of 309.
Thomas, a junior, recorded a failed dive last year at districts and did not advance. She placed fifth Wednesday with a score of 328.55.
Ober reached the 280 plateau despite a failed dive.