Long Beach's Emma Harris 5th in state diving
ITHACA, N.Y. - As Long Beach's Emma Harris hung in midair, waiting to hit the water on her final dive of the evening, she thought "this is it.''
"The second I jumped off the board on my last dive, I thought 'this is your last meet, do great,' '' she said. "It was my last dive and I did it as perfect as I could.''
Harris, a senior, ended her high school career in splendid fashion, scoring a 434.30 and placing fifth in the diving competition at the New York State Swimming and Diving Championships Friday night at Ithaca College.
There was a point when she didn't think the high finish was possible. After a poor third dive (reverse double somersault), it looked like an uphill battle for a top-five spot.
"I kicked out at the wrong time,'' Harris said of that dive. "Then I went back in and kicked out again.''
Harris was determined not to let one bad landing derail her final state championship drive.
"You have to forget about it,'' Harris said. "I had a few more dives to go and I knew that I could pull up all my scores. That's what I did.''
Wantagh's Victoria Zozzarro was also unsure of herself at one point, but overcame that and placed seventh with a score of 425.25.
"I had a bad warm-up, so I was really nervous,'' Zozzarro said. "But once I got on the board to compete in the actual meet, I felt so much better. I hit most of my dives. It was great. I'm really happy.''
Hewlett's Rayna Smilowitz was 11th with a 408.5. Her eighth dive, an inward jump, produced her only 91/2 mark of the meet.