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TB Divers' Strickland excels at regionals

Kara Strickland set the pace for a contingent of 17 locals providing an impressive performance at the Age-Group Regional Diving Championships recently in Raleigh, N.C.

Representing the Tampa Bay Divers, Strickland won the regional 1-meter championship and placed third on the 3-meter board for girls age 13-and-under.

The top 12 regional finishers in each event, including the platform, qualified for zones this weekend.

"The competition was strong at the regionals, but I expect to be pushed much more at zones," Strickland said. "Since running scores are not displayed, the competition is not what really pushes me. I basically just try to improve each move on each dive."

Alicia Tirelli turned in the best overall performance for the Jetstream Dive Team in Brandon with a third-place finish on the platform, fourth on the 3-meter and sixth on the 1-meter in 13-and-under competition.

Jessica Gordon, also with Jetstream, finished second on the platform, ninth on the 1-meter and 11th on the 3-meter. Teammate Tara Hyer finished seventh on the platform and 13th on the 3-meter.

For Jetstream boys 13-and-under, Timmy Hyer qualified for zones with a sixth-place finish on the platform and 3-meter and ninth on the 1-meter.

Meghan Perry-Eaton of the Jetstream also qualified with a seventh-place finish on the 1-meter and ninth on the 3-meter for girls 14-15. Teammate Anya Rommel finished 12th on the 1-meter to qualify.

Alex Hathaway represented the Jetstream well for boys 16-18 with a third-place finish on the 3-meter and fourth on the 1-meter.

Shelly Cavalier was the only other Tampa Bay Club diver to qualify. She placed sixth on the 1-meter and 12th on the 3-meter.