When Hayley Beutel exited the water following her eighth dive at the Suffolk County championship Thursday night at Hauppauge High School, the judge’s scores were read, and a raucous applause erupted from the crowd.
Beutel, who attends Smithtown West and competes for the combined Smithtown girls swimming and diving team, received a perfect 10 on her inward dive pike from one of the seven judges.
“I was really excited. I was like, ‘at least I got a 10’,” Beutel said. “It was an amazing feeling. It proved that all the time and effort I have put into this sport has paid off.”
The senior went on to capture the Suffolk diving title with a score of 508.5 for her 11 dives.
“It’s been a goal of mine since I started diving,” Beutel said. “I wrote it on a wall in the gym that I go to. ‘Be county champs’ it said, so it feels great to actually achieve it.”
Beutel previously clinched her spot in the Nov. 23-24 state championships at Ithaca College, when she scored a 515.70 on Sep. 28 at the Lindenhurst 11 Dive Invitational. She will be making her fifth appearance at the states. A score of 440 is required to reach the state championships.
“This year was very rewarding,” Beutel said. “I had surgery in the middle of one of my season’s in the past, so it’s like I have had a big comeback from it all. It felt great to be healthy and perform at my highest level this year.”
Beutel’s teammate Marisa Lee (Smithtown East) placed second with a total of 410.95, Sayville’s Tarynn Boesch, who competes for the combined Sayville/Bayport-Blue Point team was third (405.45) and Connetquot’s Morgan Cassidy finished fourth (400.65).
Cassidy qualified for states on Oct. 14 at the Sachem North 11 Dive Invitational with a school record 464.10. Her teammate Caitlin Weiss earned the previous record when she totaled a 462.45 at last year’s county championship.
“I know that I’m going to see a lot of really good divers upstate,” Cassidy said. “The scoring is probably going to be harder than it is here, but I’m going to do a lot of reps in the meantime on my dives until I get them right.”