Deer Park's Tyler Romero competes in the Suffolk individual diving...

Deer Park's Tyler Romero competes in the Suffolk individual diving championships/state qualifier meet on Thursday at Stony Brook. Credit: George A Faella

It all came down to Tyler Romero’s last two dives on Thursday night.

The Deer Park senior stepped onto the board for his 10th dive, completed a 404C (high degree of difficulty) and took the lead. On his final dive, he earned 21 points to secure the Suffolk 1-meter diving title at Stony Brook University with a final score of 429.85.

“It feels pretty good,” Romero said. “On top of school practice, I’ve been working a lot with my coach to improve my dives and I started to lift a lot too.”

After the first five dives, Romero trailed Smithtown-Hauppauge’s Colin Buscarino by just .65 points. After three more, the deficit grew to 18.35 points. He knew he had to make his final set of dives count.

“He did a great job today," Deer Park coach Daniella Cornelia said. “It was such a close meet and those last four dives, he really put in the best he could to win.”

Last season, Romero fell short of the crown, placing second behind Buscarino with a score of 418.95.

“He put in a lot of work during the offseason with his school team, but also his club,” Cornelia said.

Buscarino finished in second with 421.85, but held the lead for the majority of the meet.

“It’s a bitter-sweet night because it was my last meet ever, but I’m really happy with how everything turned out,” he said.

After his fifth dive, Buscarino emerged from the water holding up his fist in excitement. “My 303 is usually not my strongest,” he said. “I haven’t been able to make it all week, but I’m so glad that it came through during the meet tonight, that’s when it matters most.”

Smithtown-Hauppauge’s Kristin Krause came in third place with 334.15, followed by West Islip’s Brady Tyler in fourth and Smithtown-Hauppauge’s Danielle Krause in fifth. In New York State, girls who play fall sports, but still wish to compete in swimming and diving, can compete during the boys season.

Although the state qualifying score was 450 points, Romero’s victory grants him eligibility to travel to Ithaca in March for the NYSHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

“It’s my first time going to states, so I’m really excited about that. I also get to take off of school for it, so that’s a plus,” he said, laughing.

Cornelia says that she couldn’t be prouder of Romero's win and his chance to compete at the state championship.

“I’m so excited for him,” she said. “And I’m excited for him to be representing Suffolk County.”

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