HUNTERSVILLE Charles Mitchell has just one goal this year – to end his time at Hough High with another state championship.
Jennifer Giacalone hasn’t even thought that far ahead; not surprising, considering that she’s just in her first year with the Huskies..
However, Mitchell and Giacalone are both in position to claim a state championship after taking the boys and girls 1-meter diving titles Friday in the opening day of the NCHSAA 4A West regional meet.
Mitchell, who won the 4A diving title in 2012 only to fall less than two points short of repeating last year, claimed his fourth consecutive regional championship with a dominating performance at Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics.
Meanwhile, freshman Giacalone beat out two of her Hough teammates – fellow freshman Jocelyn Porter and junior Karly Adams, last year’s regional champ – to give the Huskies a sweep and a big boost in team points heading into Saturday’s events.
Mitchell scored 50 points or better on seven of his 11 dives Friday, and finished with a career-best 542.80 points. His closest competition, South Mecklenburg’s Brendan Schaffer, was 146.3 points behind.
“Yeah, I was thinking about it a little bit,” Mitchell said of last year’s state meet, where he finished 1.83 points behind Aaron Daniels-Freeman of Durham Riverside. “I’m feeling pretty confident. It’d be nice to win it again as a senior.”
Also qualifying for next week’s 4A state meet – to be held at the Pullen Aquatic Center in Raleigh – were Cole Petty and Jonah Morgan of Myers Park, Jack Kramer of Ardrey Kell, Parker Medlin of South Mecklenburg, Fisher Ramsey of East Mecklenburg, and Chad Kovacs of Asheville Roberson.
In the girls meet, Giacalone had seven dives of 40 points or more, and finished with 461.95 points. Porter was second at 435.30, with Adams third at 395.45.
In all, Hough will send four divers to next week’s state championships, with Katelyn Abernathy finishing sixth.
“I didn’t expect this,” Giacalone said. “I’m not even a 1-meter diver; I usually compete in the (10-meter) platform. But my parents talked me into trying it.”
“You want to focus on the competition, so it’s nice to have that to push you forward. But it’s a friendly competition.”
Also qualifying for the 4A state meet were Hope Byrum, Hanna Croxton and Katie Woodliff of Providence, and Natalie Brown of South Mecklenburg.
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