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Published: November 13, 2009 11:14 pm

HS DIVING: GI's McInerney takes third at sectionals

Staff Report
Niagara Gazette

BUFFALO — Saving her best for last was a wise move for Lockport’s Ashley Keller, who bounced back to claim her first Section VI Diving Championship on Friday at the Erie Community College Flickinger Center.

The Lockport High School senior was one of two top-five finishers for the Lady Lions.

“I arranged her list of (11) dives so that her strengths were in the back. A lot of the girls put their best dives in the front, to get them through the first two rounds,” veteran Lockport diving coach Jasper Adams said.

At the end of the first round, Keller was fourth. At the end of round two she was second, then finished strong with 279.3 points, defeating the runner-up, Springville sophomore Audrey Mulhisen (279.0), by just three tenths of a point.

Grand Island senior Megan McInerney placed third. Lockport freshman Paige Kelkenberg finished fourth overall. North Tonawanda’s Samantha Johnson finished seventh, while teammate Brittany Wurl, a freshman, placed eighth.

Keller, Mulhisen and McInerney all advanced to the state diving championships next Friday and Saturday at Webster Schroeder High School in suburban Rochester.

In all, 29 divers competed Friday, each completing 11 dives.

The swimming preliminaries followed the diving championships. North Tonawanda’s 200 free relay had a big performance as the quartet of Andrea Parish, Madison Wawrzynek, Stephanie Vogel and Staci Czaja set a school record time of 1:43.21. The previous mark was 1:43.48.

The relay is seeded fourth going into today’s swimming finals, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Flickinger Center.