AUBURN – Opelika High School senior Conner Pruitt posted a 510.95 score in the finals Friday afternoon to win the AHSAA State Diving Championship for Class 6A/7A for the fourth year in a row.
Pruitt fell just short of the AHSAA state-meet record (532.90) he set last year in the 1-meter competition, but still finished 119.45 points ahead of runner-up Zachael El-Fallah of Spain Park. The Jaguars junior scored 391.50 to edge Grissom’s James Hughes for second place.
The 58th annual AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships got underway Friday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center with diving semifinals and finals. Swimming event prelims were scheduled for Friday night. The swimming finals will get underway Saturday at 2 p.m. All finals will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network Saturday with veteran announcer Jerry Young handling the commentary. The link for NFHS Network subscribers is: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/ahsaa/d1dabc183c
None subscribers can sign up by registering at www.nfhsnetwork.com
Madison Academy junior Taylor Young won the Class 1A/5A boys’ diving competition for the second year in a row Friday with a 369.85 score. Dominic Bechen, a sophomore at St. John Paul II Catholic, finished second at 244.65.
In the girls’ competition, Auburn junior Ava Talorico edged defending state champion Emilie Hunter of Daphne by 401.25 to 400.05 to capture the Class 6A/7A 1-meter diving title Friday. Hunter, a junior, improved her winning score from 2016 by 94 points but it wasn’t enough to hold off Talorico. Finishing third was Huntsville’s Julie Keller (365.95).
Eighth grader Blakeslee Elliott of UMS-Wright posted a 307.80 score to win the Class 1A/5A competition. She also won as a seventh grader in 2016 with an almost identical score (306.25). Freshman Lexi Cubitt of Cottage Hill Christian finished second at 272.75 and Elliott’s UMS teammate Tori Waters, a seventh grader, was third with a 252.05 point total.
Huntsville’s boys and Auburn’s girls are defending 6A/7A state champions while St. Paul’s Episopal and Westminster Christian are the defending 1A/5A state champs.
AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University
Friday’s Diving Results
1. Taylor Young, Madison Academy 369.85
2. Dominic Bechen, St. John Paul II Catholic 244.65
3. David Clary, Randolph 220.85
4. Ross Cummings, St. Paul’s Episcopal 207.20
1. Conner Pruitt, Opelika 510.95
2. Zachiary El-Fallah, Spain Park 391.95
3. James Hughes, Grissom 387.10
4. Alex Benzek, James Clemens 312.00
5. Hampton Jarres, Huntsville 304.75