Mainland Regional High School sophomore Jenna Santora pulled away in the second half of the meet to win her second straight girls title at the Frank Forde Cape-Atlantic League Individual Diving Championships on Friday at Egg Harbor Township High School.
Atlantic City sophomore Logan McHenry added to his fine season by winning the CAL boys title, his first victory in a big meet.
Santora scored 222.55 points, a personal best in high school meets, to win the CAL girls championship again. Ocean City senior Megan Norton, who was third last year, finished second with a score of 189.65, and Atlantic City senior Jenny Kaufman totaled 174.10 for third. The girls competition had nine divers.
McHenry started well and held the lead to win the boys crown with a personal-best score of 229.75. Defending champion Ben Balesteri rallied after a failed dive to earn second place with 187.75 points. Third was David Taylor, St. Augustine Prep's only diver, with a score of 178.025. The boys field had 10 divers.
"It feels awesome to win it again," said Santora, 16, a Somers Point resident. "You can get a personal best at the CAL meet because there's five judges and they throw out the highest and the lowest score. The first dive was a little nerve-racking, but I really got more calm throughout the meet."
The key for Santora was her fourth dive, an inward 1½ somersaults from a tuck position. It had a degree of difficulty of 2.2, and she earned scores of 7, 7 and 6.
McHenry's first dive had a degree of difficulty of 1.7, the only one of his six that was under 2. He got scores of 5½, 6½ and 5½ to take the early lead. His second effort had a degree of difficulty of 2.3, and he got scores of 7, 6 and 7. He only did better after that.
"It feels really good to finally have a gold medal (for winning a big meet)," said McHenry, 16, of Ventnor. "I had a good feeling right from the beginning."
Balesteri's failed dive was in the third round.
"My knee buckled on the board," said junior Balesteri, 16, of EHT. "Then my brother Mark (a former CAL diving champion) came over and talked me right back into staying in it. I got second with five dives, and I got to be happy and not think about what could have been."
Contact Guy Gargan:
1. Jenna Santora, Mainland, 222.55; 2. Megan Norton, Ocean City, 189.65; 3. Jenny Kaufman, Atlantic City, 174.10; 4. Courtney Lawler, Mainland, 156.20; 5. Riley Cahill, Atlantic City, 153.35; 6. Colleen Ebert, Egg Harbor Township, 150.75; 7. Caroline Bowman, Ocean City, 145.75; 8. Olivia Romano, Vineland, 145.10; 9. Alison Naoum, Atlantic City, 144.
1. Logan McHenry, Atlantic City, 229.75; 2. Ben Balesteri, Egg Harbor Township, 187.75; 3. David Taylor, St. Augustine, 178.025; 4. Freddie Sossa, Egg Harbor Township, 175.3; 5. Eric Gerner, Atlantic City, 173.45; 6. Walter Kelly, Mainland, 163.25; 7. Chris Aponte, Vineland, 146.45; 8. Mike Sweeney, Mainland, 136.05; 9. Jason Rodriguez, Vineland, 132.95; 10. Austin Goodwin, Absegami, 132.55.