McCook Bison diver Matt Hall starts season off with record performance
HASTINGS -- McCook High School junior Matt Hall started the swimming season off by setting a new six-dive record.
Hall placed first at the Hastings Swim/Diving Invitational last Saturday with a score of 242.65 points.
This breaks his old record by 28.55 points set last season. Hall owns both the six and the eleven dive records.
McCook newcomer Katie Gill placed second with a score of 147.80, while teammates Katie Latta and Danae McCorkle placed 10th and 11th respectively.
All four divers placed high enough to score points toward the total team scores. Hall and Latta also performed well on the swimming side contributing in several individual events and relays.
Gill and McCorkle contributed in the cheering section as well as the administration, helping record splits and finishes.
"Matt was in the zone," said McCook diving coach Jim Brandt. "Most everything he threw was at a new level. All that off season work and competition has really paid off. It really came together here. He was really all by himself.
"There was quite a large gap in the score. He had to stay very focused, because there wasn't much doubt as to who the winner would be. He did that and it's a great way to start the season."
All three McCook girls scored above 100 points on their first competition.
"Katie Gill's second place finish was a real accomplishment. Hastings had two returning divers that I thought would go one and two, but Katie beat one and had the other one looking over her shoulder early on in the event," Brandt said.
Brandt said he was pleased with the entire team's effort.
"Katie Latta is part of a strong group of freshmen swimmers that wanted to try diving, and is doing well. She did some practicing in the summer, and then started back when volleyball was over.
"She swims part of her practices so she can stay in shape and practice with the other members of the relays.
"She was very consistant with judges' totals from nine to thirteen on all six dives.
"Danae McCorkle was throwing some difficult dives for the first time out.
"She struggled a bit on the hardest one, but came back strong to finish high enough to produce points for the team.
"Competition was tight for the girls. For her to be scored on only five dives out of the six and still place with the point winners is quite achievement."
The McCook High School swimmers and divers will be a home for their only home meet of the season Friday afternoon.
The diving will start at 3 p.m. at the YMCA.
"This meet will have four teams and that is why the early start," Brandt said. "We hope the fans will be able to make it there in time to support the young swimmers and divers from McCook."