East County divers perform, place at CIF finals

El Capitan High School sophomore Benjamin Brookshire, who placed fourth at last Friday’s Division II finals, shares a moment with coach Craig Schoonderwoerd following the awards ceremony.

The San Diego Section boys and girls diving championships took place last Friday at Gran­ite Hills High School. Six East County girls and three East County boys competed against a North County-heavy lineup.

Torrey Pines senior Ezra Pur­cell won the Division I boys card with a top score of 321.95 points while Cathedral Catholic junior Micah Finley topped the Divi­sion I girls field with a score of 240.40 points.

Division II winners included Pacific Ridge senior Mason Hood with 238.10 points (boys) and Mt. Carmel sophomore Sol D’Angelo with 257.00 points (girls).

Finley, D’Angelo and Hood all successfully defended their divi­sion titles while Purcell moved up from last year’s second-place finish.

A total of 51 student-athletes (32 girls, 19 boys) participated in this year’s six-dive field. In­terest remains high on the girls side for those with gymnastics and cheerleading backgrounds.

El Capitan High School con­tributed three divers to the total — sophomore Benjamin Brook­shire (Division II boys), junior Ryley Brittingham (Division II girls) and senior Brookylnn Miller (Division II girls).

Brookshire, a first-year diver, placed fourth in the six-deep Di­vision II field with 154.90 points while Brittingham finished 10th in the 14-deep Division II field with 163.00 points. Miller, the only para-diver in the state, finished 14th with 77.50 points.

Brookshire edged Coastal Academy sophomore Jeremiah Love by a scant 0.05 points.

“Awesome, inspired,” El Capi­tan dive coach Craig Schoonder­woerd said in regard to Brook­shire’s debut at the CIF level. “Benjamin had no dive expe­rience coming into the season and he placed fourth at the CIF level his first year.”

Overall, nine East County divers competed at last Friday’s finals.

Granite Hills junior Chance Hall (seventh, 185.60 points) and Helix Charter sophomore Jonathan Clay (11th, 167.75 points) both placed in the Di­vision I boys field and Gross­mont junior Addyson Clark (fifth, 188.50 points), Granite Hills sophomore Laynie Allen (seventh, 172.10 points), Steele Canyon senior Cortlyn Pat­terson (eighth, 171.55 points) and Steele Canyon senior Keira Glasson (ninth, 168.75 points) placed in the Division I girls field.

Brittingham was fifth at last year’s CIF finals while Clark, a repeat Grossmont Hills League dive champion, was ninth.

Hall was among the return­ing challengers after winning his third consecutive Grossmont Hills League boys dive title. He turned in a sensational fresh­man season with an intrepid third-place finish at the Divi­sion I meet en route to advanc­ing to the state meet.

He was 10th in last year’s 16-deep Division I field with 195.10 points as a sophomore. Hall has started to concentrate more on swimming than diving the past two seasons but re­mains competitive in the elite group with a score of 185.60 points to place mid-range in the field of 13 Division I boys. He finished just 12 points out of fourth place.

“It’s cool,” the three-time league dive champion said. “I’ve improved a lot in the 100 breaststroke. I want to get the school record.”

Hall is getting there after placing second in the event at this year’s league finals with a time of 1:01.87 — a tick behind Helix Charter junior Gunnar Balma (1:01.33).

League finals

Brookshire finished first at the Grossmont Valley League finals, followed by teammate Aiden Powers in second place.

Brittingham, a third-year diver, won the league title, fol­lowed by senior Macy Macling, another third-year diver, and senior Madison Mulligan, a sec­ond-year diver.

“The competition at CIF al­lows them to see a lot of club divers,” Schoonderwoerd said. “We don’t have any club divers. It’s great for them to see that next level of diving.”


n Above, El Capi­tan High School sophomore Ben­jamin Brookshire, who placed fourth at last Friday’s Divi­sion II finals, shares a moment with coach Craig Schoonder­woerd following the awards ceremony. At right, El Capitan High School sophomore Benjamin Brookshire performs under the watchful eye of judg­es at last Fridays’ San Diego Section diving competition.


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