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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
Freshmen divers Charlotte Bowen of Dana Hills, left, and Savannah Stocker of El Toro paced the county at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships at Clovis West on Saturday. Stocker placed a narrow third after leading after several of the late rounds.

El Toro's Stocker finishes third in the state in girls diving

STAFF WRITER

FRESNO – El Toro freshman diver Savannah Stocker introduced herself to the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday.

The first impression couldn’t have gone much better.

Stocker, a former championship gymnast who has been diving for just three years, led in the 11th and final round before finishing third in a tight competition at Clovis West.

“My stomach (was) up and down. Very exciting,” said Stocker’s mother, Jodi, after her daughter scored 481.25 points on the 1-meter springboard to finish behind Princeton-bound senior Mimi Lin of Palo Alto (498.65) and Alhambra junior Briana Thai (489.10).

Stocker forced Lin and Thai, seeded first and second, respectively, to follow her in the 11th round and deliver strong dives.

After stumbling a bit in round 9 and 10, Stocker scored the first 10 of her career on an inward dive pike in the 11th round. The effort put the Mission Viejo Nadadores’ diver in the lead, but Lin scored two 9.5s on a more difficult back 11/2 somersault with a half-twist. Thai followed with four 8.0s and a 9.0 on the same dive.

But Stocker, seeded 10th but a leader in the late rounds, remained upbeat.

“I came in not knowing a lot of the girls,” said Stocker, who bettered her score from a third place at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals by almost 29 points. “I definitely came in just wanting to have fun and more of the experience. … It was really exciting.”

Dana Hills freshman Charlotte Bowen finished 12th with 443.55 points, an encouraging performance considering she narrowly qualified for state.

“We’re kicking butt for freshmen,” said Bowen, whose freshman teammate Jaclynn Fowler placed 17th.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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