The Press Newspaper
At the Division I and II State Swimming & Diving Championships in Canton last month, four area seniors came through with impressive performances that earned each of them All-Ohio status.
Competing in Div. II, Genoa senior Bailey Dipman led the way with a fifth-place finish in diving, Lake's Adriana Cannon was eighth in the 100 butterfly and 15th in the 200 freestyle and Oak Harbor's Devon Griffin was 16th in the boys' diving competition. Clay senior Megan Siford, meanwhile, also finished 16th in the diving competition, doing so in Div. I.
And in addition to the performances of Dipman, Cannon, Griffin and Siford, Hannah Keiser and Alyssa Decker, both of Eastwood, and Oak Harbor's Ben Dresser, Bryce Buderer and Cooper Hicks also competed in the state meet.
Dipman, who placed three years in a row, spoke about her performance.
“I was happy and a little disappointed with fifth place,” she said. “I was hoping for the top-three, but I was happy I made it to the podium again and that my work paid off to get me there because the competition was really tough.”
For Dipman, it was the second consecutive year in which she finished fifth, and the third year she finished in the top-10. This season, however, she finished with her highest score, compiling a mark of 385.75, barely 10 points better than her score last year (375.55) As a sophomore, she finished in ninth with a score of 361.4.
Dipman, who is also part of the Comet cheerleading squad, is hoping to dive in college and will likely choose between Youngstown State Univ. or John Carroll Univ.
Because Genoa High School does not have a swimming pool, Dipman practices at St. Francis de Sales in Toledo under the director of diving coach Scott TenEyck. She said that an average day of practice consists of her and the other divers doing some light exercising (abdominal workouts, pushups) before partaking in a workout set up by TenEyck.
“In between dives,” Dipman said, “we sit in the hot tub to stay warm. Practice is both serious and fun at the same time.”
In a sport like diving, one where so much concentration and mental toughness is required, Dipman spoke about what she does to stay focused
“I listen to music between dives so I can stay focused on myself and not on how the competition is doing,” she said. “And I picture myself doing the dives perfectly in my head before I compete.”
As for Cannon, a swimmer, she expects to compete at the collegiate level, too. She is currently waiting to hear back from several Div. I colleges, among them Akron, Toledo and Cleveland State, and plans on majoring in engineering.
In addition to finishing eighth in the 100 fly (57.03) and 15th in the 200 free (1:56.95), Cannon was also 12th in the 100 fly and 23rd in the 200 IM as a junior and 24th in the 100 fly as a sophomore.
“I was really happy with how I placed,” said Cannon, the youngest of five sisters. “My goal was to get into the top-eight and I did that. I qualified (for state) during my sophomore year and I've improved (since then). This year, I was able to get in the top-eight. I was slightly disappointed, too, though. After my performance at districts, I was tied for 2nd in the seedings, so I was hoping to place a little higher than that. In swimmer, a tenth of a second can mean a few places.”
Cannon, who has been swimming since she was 7, notes that she started swimming year-round in eighth grade and credits her parents for helping to become acclimated with the sport and for being incredibly supportive of her.
Like Dipman, Cannon competes for a school that doesn't have a swimming pool, meaning that she practices at the YMCA & JCC in Oregon. Under the tutelage of Dave Stannerd, one of the aquatics directors at the Y, Cannon competes with athletes from area schools like Maumee and Whitmer.
An active student, Cannon is a member of The National Honor Society, serves as the Vice President of the Spanish Club and is a member of Students in Action, a group dedicated to community service.
And then there's Griffin.
Heading into the district meet several weeks ago, Griffin was concerned that he was going to miss out on his final opportunity to qualify for state after coming so close last season. And after competing in Canton last month, he actually thought he had missed out on making the final cut.
“It felt really good (to be All-Ohio),” he said. “I wasn't even thinking I was going to make the last cut, actually. I was already putting my clothes on when I heard I was in 16th. After that, I ran to the board for my last three dives.”
Griffin is quick to credit his diving coach, Eric Nuhfer, for volunteering his time this season and helping he and he fellow divers to make it to the state meet.
It was an especially important moment for Griffin, who was there to honor three late family members, Susan, his mother, Derek, his brother, and Ben, his grandfather, who had passed away just days before the event. And Derek, a 2005 OHHS graduate, was a runner who was part of the 4x200 relay team that held the school record for nearly a decade. Derek, who was also a second-degree black belt, competed in Italy with the U.S. Taekwondo Team, an accomplishment that helped to motivate Devon.
“That whole trip was because of them.”
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