TOWAMENCIN — Bringing her impressive performance to a climactic finish, Marie Yacopino nailed her final dive of Saturday afternoon — a double twisting one and a half — to raise her score to 482.05 and wrap up the silver medal at the District One Class 3A Diving Championships at North Penn's Rick Carroll Natatorium.
"I had been really nervous about that one lately," Yacopino said of the dive, "so I was happy. That's the best I've done it since states last year."
Only fitting since states is where Yacopino is headed, as the North Penn sophomore was one of four locals to qualify for the PIAA Championships at Bucknell University.
Yacopino's score of 482.05 surpassed the previous district record of 480.57, set by Melanie Coots of Spring-Ford back in 1998, and it also surpassed her own previous pool record of 468.15, set earlier this month.
It took a tremendous 11 dives by Upper Dublin's Corey Johnson to edge Yacopino for the gold, as the Cardinals' top diver finished with a score of 483.25.
Yacopino went from a sixth-place finish as a freshman all the way to the silver as a sophomore.
"Last year, I was kind of oblivious to the whole thing," she said. "I didn't have any expectations at all. I know what to expect now."
Also making a return to states is Yacopino's teammate, junior Madison Tanis, who scored a 441.10 to earn fourth place in Class 3A. Her back and a half on her second to last dive helped keep her ahead of Lower Merion's Carolyn Howard, the district gold medalist two seasons ago.
"Last year I got ninth and just pulled it out in the last round,' said Tanis, who had some nice breathing room going into finals. "It was good to be up higher and in the mix.'
Central Bucks West's Kelly Magri also earned a trip to Lewisburg, placing seventh with a 382.40. Her teammate, Sarah Stim, just missed the 10th and final spot for states, placing 11th with a 367.45.
Methacton's Samantha Lavrich is state-bound, by virtue of her eighth-place score of 377.30.
Yacopino went to Lewisburg last winter as an underdog freshman. She came away with the silver medal.
"That didn't even feel real," she said. "I wasn't even expecting to go to states. Because how high I placed there last year, I feel like I should place higher this year."
The swim portion of the District One Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at La Salle University.
District One Girls Diving Championships
At North Penn
State Qualifiers: 1. Corey Johnson (Upper Dublin) 483.25; 2. Marie Yacopino (NP) 482.05; 3. Carlie Perkins (Avon Grove) 460.0; 4. Madison Tanis (NP) 441.10; 5. Carolyn Howard (Lower Merion) 435.35; 6. Nicole Costello (Pennsbury) 426.80; 7. Kelly Magri (CB West) 382.40; 8. Samantha Lavrich (Methacton) 377.30; 9. Maddie Campbell (William Tennent) 375.10; 10. Alex Costello (Pennsbury) 372.25.District 1 Diving