East Penn Press

Monday, September 24, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus' Drew Stenger was one of four Emmaus divers to finish in the top 10 at last week's league meet. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus' Drew Stenger was one of four Emmaus divers to finish in the top 10 at last week's league meet.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Brendan McCourt took third place at Saturday’s league championship meet. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Brendan McCourt took third place at Saturday’s league championship meet.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Jess Hurlburt finished third at Saturday’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Diving Championships. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Jess Hurlburt finished third at Saturday’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Diving Championships.

Divers earn league medals

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

With the return of Jess Hurlburt to Emmaus diving and the continued emergence of Brendan McCourt, there has been a piqued interest in diving for the Hornets.

At the midseason Eastern Pennsylvania Conference meet, Hurlburt didn’t compete, but McCourt was there and took first place. That set the scene for this past weekend when the EPC held its Diving Championship at Emmaus High School.

The meet ended with a piece of controversy when it was ruled that McCourt had changed the order of his dives without notifying the officials.

The penalty was that he was given a failed dive for his final dive, which cost him 52 points and dropped him from second to third place in the final standings.

“It wasn’t an issue with his dives,” said Parkland coach Cary Lehman, who initiated the challenge. “It was a procedural thing that somebody noticed and brought to my attention and we questioned it with the officials.”

Lehman made a point of speaking with McCourt after the meet and discussing the issue, which McCourt said that he didn’t harbor any ill feelings about, but still wasn’t quite sure of what he had done wrong.

“I don’t quite understand what the issue was, because I had completed all of my required dives, but there’s not really anything that I can do about it,” said McCourt. “This is just something to push me at districts and in the Parkland meet on Thursday, so I’m just looking at this as something to motivate me at the bigger meets.”

Initially, McCourt had finished second, just under three points behind gold medalist Logan Choma of Parkland. The point deduction dropped him behind Parkland’s Kole Cannon, who finished with the silver medal. Emmaus’ Kyle Ryan finished fifth, while Drew Stenger placed seventh.

Emmaus’ James Mont finished just four points behind Stenger for eighth and Alex Pisarek finished 13th and Greg Navarre was 15th for the Hornets.

One of the top EPC divers, Nazareth’s Steven Stasolla, came into the meet with an injury and stumbled on his approach to his third dive, causing him to fail the dive. He put up impressive dives in both the fourth and fifth rounds before withdrawing because of the injury.

Even with the failed dive, Stasolla was fourth through the first five rounds.

On the girls side, Hurlburt went back and forth with eventual winner Lexi Lehman of Parkland, with Hurlburt taking an early lead before Lehman passed her after four rounds.

The Emmaus senior again forged ahead after the ninth round of dives, but both Lehman and Alexa Brinker, also of Parkland, passed Hurlburt in the final round. The two Parkland divers had higher degree of difficulty dives in the final round and both put together strong dives to pass Hurlburt.

“I knew because I went in with a DD [degree of difficulty] that was lower than I probably could have, which is something that I probably can focus on in the next meets and make my DD higher,” said Hurlburt, who is in her first season back with the team after injuries.

”It shows me what I am capable of doing. Don’t get me wrong, they had an extremely good meet, but my possibility of doing better is there down the road.”

Emmaus didn’t have any other female divers in the meet. Parkland’s Kate Gottwald finished in fourth place.