The Victoria Wang era is underway.
The eighth-grader from Manhasset not only won her first Nassau diving championship, but she did so in record fashion. The name, which local diving fans will become accustomed to hearing, was announced as winner of the Nassau county title with a score of 562.55 at the Nassau Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park Wednesday evening.
Victoria Zazzaro, of Wantagh, set the previous record in 2014 with a score of 550.80.
But when Wang exited the pool, she had no idea she set a county record. Manhasset coach Matthew McGrane said he didn’t want to get Wang out of the incredible zone she was in while delivering strong dives.
"I was so happy," Wang said. "I was surprised because I didn’t know. I was just doing my dives."
Wang edged out Rachel Yang, of Jericho, who scored 542.00. Macayla Hodkinson, of Bethpage, placed third with a 399.30 and Isabel Wilkins, of Bellmore-Merrick, finished fourth with a 393.05.
"This means so much to me because I’ve worked so hard and train every day," Wang said. "I’m so happy I was able to achieve this."
Her coach had high compliments of Wang, despite Wang having yet to cross over to the high school.
"It’s so impressive," McGrane said. "She’s only in eighth grade and she’s incredible at what she does. And you can see she’s always happy, always smiling, so just to see that almost innocence of an eighth-grader doing what she loves to do and then doing it so incredibly well...she’s the best by far I’ve ever coached and seen come through Manhasset."
Wang hopes to continue winning titles and improving her county record throughout her high school years. Her next opportunity comes at the diving state championships at Ithaca College on November 19 at 3 p.m.
Yang also posted a state-qualifying score and Hodkinson had a state-qualifying score during the season.
"I think it’s so cool, I would have never imagined doing that today," Wang said. "I want to continue to do better and try harder to even beat this."