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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
CIF Division 2 runner-up Matthew Casillas of El Modena, left, and champion Colten Young of Crean Lutheran have been synchronized diving partners for about three years with the Mission Viejo Nadadores but faced off Monday in Riverside.

Crean's Young triumphs in friendly diving battle

STAFF WRITER

RIVERSIDE - Colten Young of Crean Lutheran and Matthew Casillas of El Modena nearly won gold as synchronized diving partners last month at a national meet in North Carolina.

They finished 2.04 points out of first place in a junior-division event on platform with the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

They were competitors Monday at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals, but the margin remained close at Riverside City College.

Young, a sophomore, scored 589.30 points on his 11-dive list to outdistance the Georgia Tech-bound Casillas at 576.10 for his second CIF individual crown. He won Division 3 last May.

“I definitely tried to do my best to beat him,” the 6-foot-2 Young said with a laugh of Casillas. “It was a lot harder (in Division 2). Matt is very good.”

Related: Top-9 diving results

Casillas, seeking his first CIF title after three runner-up finishes, led early but Young took the lead for good by ripping an inward 11/2-somersault tuck on the 1-meter springboard in the seventh round. Young scored one 10 for his third perfect score.

Casillas stayed close, scoring a 10 in the ninth round on a forward 1½-somersault pike on the 3-meter. He also finished with three 10s.

"There were a few dives I could have done better on but overall, we both did great," Casillas said.

In girls Division 2, Laguna Beach freshman Liv Mitchell, from the Fullerton-based SoCal club, finished as the runner-up to Raina Brommer of M.L. King of Riverside. Mitchell scored 469.00 points, 13.55 behind the New Mexico State-bound Brommer.

"I feel I was pretty consistent," Mitchell said. "I messed up an a couple dives but overall, I feel like I did well. I knew I had an opportunity (to contend)."

Mitchell led as late as after the seventh round but was among the contenders to miss dives in the eighth round. Brommer capitalized in the eighth but hitting one of her best dives, a reverse 2 1/2 somersault tuck.

Mitchell, Casillas and Young each said they would return Saturday if eligible to attempt to qualify for the inaugural state meet. The top-16 boys and girls overall from the division finals will compete in a six-dive competition on 1-meter for six spots in the state meet in Fresno on May 22-23.

“That way they are all being judged by the same panel,” CIF-SS assistant commissioner Kristine Palle said.

Some of the top girls in Division 3 said they were unsure about attending the state meet because of school testing on Friday, May 22. Among the unsure: Division 3 champion Daria Lenz of Pasadena Poly. On Monday, the freshman became the fourth sister from her family to capture a CIF diving title.

Alhambra's Briana Thai, who finished sixth with 442.10 points and won Division 2 last season, also is unsure along with her sister, Megan, and third-place Anora Denison of Immaculate Heart (484.05).

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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