BUFFALO—In a field of 31 Section VI teams at the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena last week, the bright spot for the Griffins was its divers. Two of the three Springville divers competed Feb. 16 with Wyatt Fuller finishing second and Jackson Rickert 22nd at 1 meter diving.
Although the Springville sophomore had already qualified for states by obtaining a 450 score or higher earlier, he did it again at the State Qualifiers with a 452.95 score that was only second to Lockport’s Jake Minnick, who scored 491.15. The pair were the only two at the event with state-qualifying scores and both have two years after this year to compete at the high-school level.
Because none of the Griffin swimmers were able to qualify in non-diving events, Fuller’s 17 points from his second-place finish were all Springville was able to muster and that total was better than eight other teams, putting Springville 23rd in a field of 31.
Fuller out-scored Lakeshore, Eden, Frontier, Amherst, Alden, Cleveland Hill, Medina and Lewiston-Porter.
Only the top 16 divers accrued points for their teams and Rickert’s 287.05 was about 30 points back of adding to Fuller’s 17.
Without segmentation based on enrollment and with each school on an equal playing field, Springville nemesis East Aurora could only muster an eighth-place finish after dominating class competition just a week before.
Although the competition is to provide a venue for individuals – not teams – to advance to state competition, the seven larger schools that finished ahead of the Blue Devils were Orchard Park (266 points), Williamsville East (211), Hamburg (189), Lockport (188), Kenmore (156), Sweet Home (156) and Niagara Falls (127).
Fuller moves on to compete for a state championship at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Swimming Championships March 2-3 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Long Island.