MISHAWAKA — Rensselaer Central diver Darian McAdow will compete in her third straight swim meet on Saturday after placing fifth at the Penn diving regional on Tuesday night.
McAdow, a two-time Hoosier Conference and sectional champion, placed fifth at regional with 400.90 points to edge Northridge’s Evie Long, who had 400.85 points for sixth place.
Long’s teammate, Kaitlin Simons, won the regional title with 491.25 points, edging Jiselle Miller (488.40), also from Northridge.
McAdow was one of four seniors to qualify for state.
The top eight divers from each regional advance to the state finals, which will be held at the Indiana University Natatorium on the IUPU-I campus.
“I’m really excited that I was able to qualify for a third time to end my senior year,” McAdow said.
McAdow executed her first dive at regional just as she had hoped, but felt she stumbled a bit on the second dive.
“That second dive, I kind of bombed it really,” she said. “But on my favorite dive, the back twister, which I did right after that I was able to nail it and became more confident. To still hit 400 (points) and not have one of my dives go well, I was happy with it.”
A two-sport standout at RCHS, McAdow was able to qualify for another state meet even though her fellow competitors spend the entire year preparing for the swim season.
“I hear the other girls talking about how they dive every single day and go to camps,” McAdow said. “I think I’m the only girl who didn’t dive at camp or spend that much time diving, so I think it’s pretty awesome that I’m able to compete with them even without putting in all that extra time that they do.”
The school record holder for most points over 6 dives as well as 11 dives, McAdow said her senior year couldn’t have gone any better. She finished unbeaten in the regular season, finished second at the Hoosier Conference Meet and won the sectional meet at Munster last week.
“I’m extremely pleased with how it’s gone,” she said. “My senior year is the best one yet. Officials and former coaches and coaches I know from other schools say I just look stronger and more confident than previous years. That’s all I can ask for.”
Diving preliminaries begin at 8 p.m., CST, with doors opening to the Natatorium at 6:30 a.m., local time. Semis will follow the prelims and the finals are set for 12 p.m. Saturday.
The top 22 divers after the preliminary round, which is a five-dive event, will compete in the semifinals where they will do three more dives. The top 16 then qualify for the finals where three more dives will be performed to determine the champion.
McAdow competed in the preliminary rounds in 2018 and 2019, but fell short of reaching the semifinals. She is determined to get past the prelims this year.
“Me and my coach decided we’re going to concentrate on that first dive, get super comfortable with it and go from there,” she said. “Hopefully I can nail all my dives, get to the semifinals and soar into finals. But my main goal is to get past that first round.”
Simons, the Penn Regional champion, has the best score of the 32 divers who qualified. Her 491.25 points edged Carmel diver Alaina Heyde’s score of 490.40.
Sara Troyer of Northridge won the state title last winter with 507.65 points over 11 dives., but she has since graduated. Simons didn’t qualify for state last year, but Heyde finished 10th as a freshman.