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Foothill League divers ready for 2013 season

Foothill League swim talent extends to diving

Posted: March 16, 2013 9:35 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2013 9:35 p.m.

West Ranch dive team members, two-time defending Foothill League champion Emma Simmonds, left, and Peighton Hall practice at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center last season. Photo by Jonathan Pobre

 

The Canyon Cowboys may be struggling in dual meets, but their diving team is among the best the Foothill League has to offer.

Returning senior Connor Ferris, who has qualified for CIF-Southern Section Division I finals three years in a row, leads a group of seven divers from the school.

Ferris finished eighth at CIF-SS Division I finals last season, and is joined by his brother, sophomore Logan Ferris.

Logan finished ninth at CIF finals last season.

Newcomers senior Alex Orozco and Jake Scheer are both CIF-caliber divers who could score poitns for the Cowboys.

In girls diving, Julianna Burdette returns as a senior for Canyon and newcomer Addison Bates will take to the water.

Golden Valley suffered easily the biggest loss of the offseason, when Foothill League champion diver Drake Nelson elected to stop diving for the Grizzlies.

According to Golden Valley head swim coach Jenn Marsden he has transfered out of the school.

Nelson was an All American last season, according to Foothill League dive coach Kerry Frick.

Hart returns junior Anna Bidolli and will feature newcomer freshman Camila Turrini.

On the boys side, the Indians feature just one diver, Andrew Spyrka, who suffered a broken leg and is not expected to return to action until late in the season.

The Indians also lost diver Nadia Tseng, who qualified for CIF-SS finals last season, to graduation.

Saugus features two divers this season, after losing Katelyn Waschak to graduation.

Sophomore Jessica Bustios and freshman Morgan Clark, both of whom are new to diving, will represent Saugus this season.

Valencia features a deep boys side, with five divers taking to the pool in 2013.

Two returning CIF-SS finalists are among that group, led by senior Derek Rider, who has qualified for CIF three years in a row and sophomore Carter Hardin.

“Although Connor Ferris has consistently taken the top spot at (league dual meets), league finals and CIF for the last three years, rival teammate Logan Ferris and Valencia divers Derek Rider and Carter Hardin will try to take this title throughout the season,” Frick said.

The Vikings top newcomer this season is expected to be senior Luke Wessellhoff, who Frick believes has a chance to qualify for CIF competition.

The lone diver on the girls side for Valencia is Kiley Fitzgerald.

West Ranch has four divers in girls, and should be the most formidable team the Foothill League has to offer.

If returning league champion junior Emma Simmonds and senior Peighton Hall weren’t enough, the Wildcats added nationally ranked newcomer Carly Sherwood-Souza.

“I expect the top two girls to watch are Emma Simmonds and Carly Souza of West Ranch for the top spots this year,” Frick said. “Returning divers have shown improvement, so it should be a good year. Both Souza and Simmonds have already qualified for CIF, and there may be a couple alternates as the season progresses.

West Ranch’s strongest diver on the boys side should be Alex Rojas.

So far, five Foothill League divers have already qualified for CIF-SS Division I prelims, in Sherwood-Souza, Simmonds, Connor and Logan Ferris and Rider.

 

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