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Reinhard Makes Late Splash, Can't Tuck Away Title

Southern Section diving: Defending Division II girls' champion from Crescenta Valley finishes in third place.


CLAREMONT — Kasey Reinhard did her best to rise to the level of the competition, but it often stood a couple of meters above her.

Reinhard, a junior at Crescenta Valley High and the 1998 Southern Section Division II diving champion, was unable to defend her title and finished third in the girls' final on Wednesday at Claremont McKenna Aquatics Complex.

Reinhard had 432.95 points to finish behind winner Kristin Littell of Don Lugo (474.15 points) and Takako Nabeshema of Cypress (459.65).

Reinhard, who was fifth after eight rounds, took most of her dives from the one-meter board while the other competitors dived mostly from three meters.

"It was a lot tougher competition than last year," Reinhard said. "There were a lot more club divers.

"I was sort of nervous seeing everyone that was here. But I pulled it out toward the end and I was happy about that. I was just hoping to do well. As long as I dive well, I'm happy."

Littell, a freshman who dives for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, and Nabeshema were neck and neck after eight dives, with Nabeshema ahead, 339.20 points to 334.65.

But Nabeshema executed poorly an inward 2 1/2 somersault in the 10th round, receiving scores of 3.0s and 4.0s from the five judges.

Littell hit her 10th dive to pull ahead and her final attempt to win.

Reinhard overtook Anne Osmun of Palos Verdes and Carly Banks of Laguna Hills with her final three dives. Banks placed fourth with 430.60 pointsand Osmun finished fifth with 427.85 points.

Reinhard was the top diver from the region, but others made the final cut of 16.

Rio Mesa juniors Jessica Kolb and Erin Enriquez finished ninth (353.60) and 11th (333.25), and teammate Barbara Roth was 15th.

Diving points will be added to the division's swim finals on Saturday, giving the Spartans a good head start.

"It was a great season," Enriquez said. "That's going to help our swimmers a lot."

Mission League champion Lauren Johanson, a sophomore, finished 13th in her first section final. She was followed by Harvard-Westlake's Kristin Boyd in 14th place and Camarillo's Terri Potter was 16th.

The boys' competition wasn't nearly as close as the girls', with Irvine University sophomore Louie Gagnet winning with a division-record 589.60 points.

The top boys' finisher from the region was Harvard-Westlake senior Scott Messer, who was fifth with 375.75 points. He edged Rio Mesa junior Matthew Doucette (375.20), who placed sixth.

"I could have done a little bit better, but overall it went about the way I expected," said Messer, a three-time Mission League champion.

Gagnet drew a rousing ovation on his fifth dive, a reverse 2 1/2 somersault that received four scores of 10.0 and a 9.0.

Gagnet finished second last year when former Aliso Niguel standout Lee Brennan set the previous meet record of 565.05 points.

"I was just looking to win," Gagnet said. "I didn't care so much about the record."

Crescenta Valley's Joey Castellani tied for 10th and Harvard-Westlake's Eric Lederman placed 14th.

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