Aberdeen divers end year with a successful splash

Six Aberdeen Divers, including five "first timers," competed and showed off their skills at the Central Maryland Dive League Championship meet at the Waugh Chapel Swim Club in Gambrills recently. This meet is the culmination of the two-month diving season and only the top divers are invited to compete.

Amanda Kretschmer, who was undefeated in five dual meets throughout the regular season and is a top gymnast in Maryland, gave Aberdeen their highest ever finish in the championship meet by finishing in THIrd place. Kretschmer's high difficulty dive routine, which included two forward somersaults and a back somersault with two twists as well as good execution on all her dives helped her to get on the podium.

Aberdeen's other undefeated diver during the regular season, Rocky Ramsland (8 and under boys) went in to the championship meet as one of the favorites. After two good dives, Ramsland stood in second place in the tight competition. His forward 1 1/2 somersault dive came up a little short, however, and dropped him down to a respectable sixth place finish.

Jeffrey Kretschmer (Amanda's brother) also finished in sixth place in the boys 9-10 age group. Jeff, who is also one of the top swimmers in Harford County, stuck his forward dive and forward 1 1/2 somersault dives to secure his final position. As Aberdeen's lone 9-10 boy diver, Jeff improved his diving skills tremendously throughout the year through sheer determination and hard work.

Aberdeen's other three championship divers also performed very well and finished with "honorable mention" awards. Eden Taylor (11-12 girls) performed excellent forward 1/2 twist and inward dives in her routine. Patterson Mill senior Ciana Campo (15-18 girls) executed her best forward two somersault dive and her best reverse dive this year, yielding her very high scores. Bel Air junior Matthew McPhee (15-18 boys), who achieved the rare feat of qualifying for the championship meet in his first year in the sport, landed five out of his six dives and received some of his highest scores of the year.

In the novice championship meet held at Five Oaks Swim Club in Catonsville, Aberdeen's divers also performed very well. Nikki Bayles won the 11-12 boys age group with four very solid dives. Ava Darling took second place and Caris Cianelli finished in third place in the 9-10 girls age group, while Grace Long secured a solid fourth place finish in the 8 and under age group. Finally, Kendall Archer and Jillian Gardiner finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the 13-14 girls division.

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