Heading into the championship match Thursday night, a state tournament appearance already was solidified for Kelsey Kreuscher of Connetquot after the first invitational meet.
The state tournament, however, was not on Kreuscher’s mind at the moment. First, she had other business to tend to.
Kreuscher scored a personal best of 517.85 points to win the Suffolk Girls Diving Championship at Hauppauge High School.
“It was a lot of work, but I put in all the time,” she said. “I’m very happy with how I did.”
“Kelsey is the most consistent kid on my team,” Connetquot coach Jeff Shiebler said. “She’s unaffected by any outside distractions and she’s focused and as strong as can be.’’
He added, “Even though she had qualified for states, she still went in every single practice and worked her tail off to get better, and she got better.”
Rounding out the top four were the other qualifiers for the state tournament — Natalia Chornomidza (Lindenhurst) 511.15, Lara Booth Alam (Connetquot) 503.25 and Riley Metz (Ward Melville) 475.10.
“I’m very competitive with them,’’ Kreuscher said, “but we are all friends and want to do well at states.”
Kreuscher started fast, leading after the first intermission by less than a point to Booth Alam by the score of 224.60 to 223.95.
After the next three rounds, she gained a double-digit lead over the competition.
“I just stayed focused and prepared myself for each dive,” Kreuscher said.
Next up for Kreuscher will be the state tournament on Nov. 18 and 19 at Webster High School in Rochester, where she will face Booth Alam, Chornomidza and Metz again as well as the best divers from around the state.
“I want to nail all my dives and make it to the last round of states,” Kreuscher said.
When asked what he expected from his newly crowned Suffolk champion, Shiebler said: “I anticipate her scoring higher than she did last year and finishing top five in states.”