Vanim earns bronze medal
Andrew Vanim can’t change what happened at districts. He can’t get back that one dive that hurt his score and left him devastated by the fact that he failed to qualify for states.
The only thing he can do is handle the setback with class and move on from it. He appears to be doing both.
“I don’t take this as a loss,” said the Emmaus junior after finishing in third place at Saturday’s District 11 Class 3A Diving Championships. “I take this as a learning experience. It’s just that one dive. It just happened. Things happen.”
Vanim was moving up the leaderboard throughout the second half of the 11-dive event.
At the first break, after five dives, he was in third place, less than two points behind Parkland’s Chris Lehman but 20 points behind leader Steven Stasolla of Nazareth.
At the next break, after eight dives he was comfortably ahead of Lehman by eight points and had his sights set on Stasolla, who was now leading by almost 15 points (329.65-314.70).
Vanim made up nine points on his ninth dive as he picked up 55.2 points and trimmed the lead to just six. But a 15.0 on his penultimate dive pushed him back into third place, one spot out of earning a trip to states for diving. He made an error on a dive he usually nails for upwards of 50 points.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve done but that one dive messed me up,” he said. “I had the mindset I was going to win it but my feet hit the board. It happens. Mistakes happen. I’ve been working so hard lately and it’s just very disappointing to come up this short. But I finished very strong and I’m proud of that. I’m just angry with myself that I let myself do that on one of my best dives.”
His final dive earned 46.2 points to keep him in third place.
Vanim finished in third place as a sophomore last season and now has two district medals with one year remaining in his high school career.
“I still have next year,” he said “I’m going to continue working year round and I’m just going to do everything in my power to increase my degree of difficulty and to stay consistent.”
The one consolation for this season is that he is one of few divers who will compete in the pool again next weekend as the district swimming championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Parkland High School.
Vanim was happy to pick up a few team points this weekend and has plans to help the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Hornet boys team pick up a few more points and maybe earn a trip to states March 16-17 at Bucknell University.
“I’m actually swimming, too,” he said. “I’m seeded eighth in the 50 free. I’m also seeded third in the 200 freestyle relay with a couple of my friends from the team.
“I wanted to make them proud today but I came up short and I’m sorry. Hopefully we can win a district title. Hopefully I can go to states on that relay. I’m going to do everything in my power to do that.”
Emmaus’ freshman Drew Stenger also competed in Saturday’s district diving championship. Stenger finished in eighth place with a total of 302.25.