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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Colten Young of Crean Lutheran performs a twist in one of his dives at the CIF Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday.

State title comes with a twist for Crean's Young

STAFF WRITER

FRESNO - Colten Young’s favorite dives are twisters. So with a chance Saturday to seal a convincing victory at the inaugural CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships with a twister, he was in perfect position.

The Crean Lutheran sophomore hurtled toward the end of the 1-meter springboard in the 11th and final round, leaped forward and soared into a 11/2-somersault with two tight and ultra-fast twists.

And on a morning that he made a giant splash in California aquatics history, Young entered the water with a tiny splash.

Young scored four 8.5s and an 8 to punctuate a victory at Clovis West High.

“He loves those twisters,” Crean Lutheran coach Craig Brown said of the 6-foot-2 Young, a U.S. junior national team diver with the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

“Of course, I just had an epiphany. I didn’t realize how much he liked twisters.”

Young also scored well in the 10th round with a back 1½-somersault with 11/2-twist, an optional selection like his 11th-round pick.

“Twisters are most my most consistent (dives),” Young said. “I always put my most consistent dives at the end.”

Young finished with a score of 581.45 – all on the required 1-meter springboard – to outdistance runner-up Reed Merritt of Palo Alto (554.05) and third-place Jeffrey Cain of Buchanan (529.90).

Dana Hills freshman Jake Greenberg (526.25) and El Modena senior Matthew Casillas (524.55) also reached the medal podium by placing fourth and fifth, respectively.

“I was really happy that I won the first (state title),” Young said. “I’m glad that it was during when I started diving that they had the first (state meet).”

One of Young’s most critical dives arrived in the eighth round as he faced the dive with a 3.1 degree of difficulty, one of the highest in the competition between 28 divers. He scored four 7.0s on the inward 2½-somersault and emerged in the ninth round as the diver to beat.

“I was thinking that was the most important (dive) for me,” Young said.

Brown and Nadadores coach Zachary Parry said Young’s consistency also contributed to the title.

“He dove so consistently and then he hit a couple just perfect,” Brown said of Young, who scored two 10s in the seventh round.

Young certainly gets his practice. He planned to dive platform Sunday in the Greg Louganis Southern California Invitational in Mission Viejo.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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