If there’s one thing Kenston Bombers’ senior Alex Bayus can take away from his high school diving career, it’s that he’s been nothing but consistent.

Bayus took second place at the Western Reserve Conference Diving Championship with a score of 398.00 and Chardon Hilltoppers’ senior Lauren Alexander snagged third place by scoring 310.30 points in the girls’ diving portion last Friday evening at Mayfield High School.

It marked the fourth consecutive year that Bayus was runner-up at the WRC Dive Meet. His final conference diving championship saw him set a new personal scoring record.

“It means a lot,” he said. “It means all of my hard work over these past four years have really paid off.”

The last three years saw Bayus and teammate Clay Foster land the top two spots at the WRC dive meet. Foster was projected to repeat as a four-time champion but was scratched from the meet after suffering a concussion.

The Bombers’ senior admitted it was tough to see his teammate miss the meet because he enjoyed diving alongside Foster these past three years, but it did not alter his focus.

“I was really confident coming into this competition,” Bayus said. “I thought I would get first but sadly I didn’t.”

Bayus put himself at the top of the leaderboard after scoring 47.30 points in the second round by nailing an inward 1½ somersault and tuck with a degree of difficulty of 2.2.

It was a dive that he struggled to perfect but finally got some rotation on it to stick the landing. After nailing that dive, Bayus thought it was a sign that the night belonged to him.

Mayfield senior Antonio Lopez was right behind Bayus, trailing by 00.90 points after the third round.

The Wildcats’ senior overtook Bayus after the sixth round, holding a 3-point lead over Bayus with a score of 193.70.

Lopez continued pulling away until his ninth dive of the evening, when a backwards 1 somersault with a 2½ twist and a degree of difficulty of 1.6, netted him a score of 44.00 points.

That gave Lopez a commanding lead with a score of 343.50, putting Bayus firmly in second place with 312.40 points. Bayus could not make up the difference in the last three rounds.

“I think Antonio had the diving difficulty while I had the form and technique,” noted Bayus. “His degree of difficulty overran my technique.”

Bayus was not the only diver who enjoyed a career night as Alexander enjoyed her best performance at the WRC diving meet with her third-place finish.

It marked the best finish for Alexander at the WRC Diving Championship during her three years of competing at the event.

The Chardon senior could not have been more thrilled with her performance especially because she was not expected to be ready for the WRC diving meet.

“This may be my senior year but it’s actually the first time I’ve competed this year,” she explained. “I fractured my right foot over Thanksgiving break and it’s still not healed so coming out and doing it on Friday night means a lot to me mentally more than physically because I know what I’m doing.”

According to Alexander, after she fractured her left foot, she was told that she would not be ready to return to action until at least the beginning of February.

Less than two months later, here she was, ahead of schedule.

“It was really important to me,” Alexander said. “My swim friends were competing at the WRC Championship on Saturday so I wanted do my best so I could help them score points also.”

Alexander was at the front of pack from the beginning of the meet, competing for first place against teammate Taylor Myers, Riverside’s Isabella Steen and Maddi Whitticar from Willoughby South.

Alexander traded positions with her teammate Myers over the final few rounds but delivered her best dive of the evening in the final round.

She intentionally structured her dive sheet to save her toughest dive for last and netted a score of 37.95 points on a backwards 1 somersault with a 1½ twist with a degree of difficulty of 2.3 to secure a third place finish.

“I try to put my last dive last just so I know that I have that to bank on,” Alexander said. “It’s a pretty consistent dive for me so I know that I can do and I’ll be fine.”

Alexander edged out Myers for third place by 00.15 point and also eclipsed her personal best score by a full point on her final dive.

Bayus will spring back into action for Kenston’s tr-meet against Universtiy School and Hathaway Brown on Jan. 18 at Hunting Valley beinning Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. while Alexander will not dive again until Senior Night when Chardon faces WRC foe Mayfield and North Olmsted at SPIRE on Jan. 22 beginning at 10 a.m.

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