Noah Duperre saved his best dive for last in the Division I boys district diving meet Feb. 13 at Dublin Community Recreation Center, but that didn’t mean the New Albany High School sophomore wasn’t nervous.
Duperre capped a 587.7-point performance with a back 1 1/2 with a 2 1/2 twist, edging Olentangy Liberty freshman Jack Matthews for the championship by 5.85 points to lead an underclassman-laden group to state.
“I was really nervous for it and very relieved after I did it,” said Duperre, who was state runner-up as a freshman. “I didn’t have enough time to get it in practice, so I was really nervous about how it would be today. It worked fine.”
In addition to Duperre and Matthews, advancing to state were New Albany freshman Jordan Rzepka (542.45), Olentangy Orange junior Luke Cheetham (512) and Hilliard Darby freshman Hayden Apel (468.7). They will compete Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
“Our district this year is way more competitive (than last year),” Duperre said. “This is a huge confidence boost knowing I can compete with some of these other divers who I know and are my friends.”
Columbus Academy senior Esther Lawrence secured her fourth state meet appearance by winning the Division II girls district meet Feb. 13 at Dublin Community Recreation Center, scoring 551.4 points to edge teammate Jordan Skilken (544.1).
Skilken will compete in her third state meet.
The top two girls and top three boys in Division II advanced. Both the boys and girls state competitions will be Feb. 21 at Branin Natatorium.
“I’m really excited to be able to represent our district again,” Lawrence said. “It’s going to be really fun and now that have I had three years of experience. I’m really looking forward to it. I feel pretty good.”
In the boys district meet, Wellington’s Eric Jacques scored 386.4 points to win a tight field. Teammate Taso Callanan was second (371.1) and Centennial’s Daniel Edgington placed third (370.6).
“It’s very exciting,” Jacques said. “It was a really hard-fought victory.”