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DOMINATING DIVERS

Every day at this week's state meet, area divers have a chance at podium finishes. A look at the top contenders:

CLASS 3A

RYAN TROUP, SR., ST. PETERSBURG: While finishing sixth at state last year, the District 5 champion got a good look at the competition. Jevon Tarantino of Olympic Heights won and is seeded first this year, while Vitor Assunaco of Orlando Dr. Phillips finished third and is seeded second. Troup is the third seed with 585.90 points.

MARK MOSS, SR., PALM HARBOR U.: The district runner-up behind Troup might be the county's most-improved diver; seeded fifth with 522.10 points.

KAILA JOHNSTON, SR., CLEARWATER: Her 433.80 points won District 5 and a No. 10 seed, the same spot where she finished last year at state.

CLASS 2A

ALEX TILBROOK, JR., OSCEOLA: After successful defenses of Pinellas County Athletic Conference and District 7 titles, is the big prize next? Tilbrook is the top seed with 545.95 points, 14.60 ahead of Fort Lauderdale's Evan Linette. Last year, Linette beat Tilbrook by 10.15 for the state title.

LAUREN PERMUY, SR., OSCEOLA: A stroke of bad luck hurt the District 7 champion at last year's state meet, when a foot caught the board in mid-dive, requiring a minimum score. Still, Permuy finished fifth. This year, she is the fourth seed with 450.75 points.

SARAH ELLERBY, JR., EAST LAKE: As a sophomore, she failed to make the final cut at the state meet, but should accomplish that and more this year after winning District 5 and securing the sixth seed (419.90).

CLASS A

AUSTIN HAMPTON, SO., ADMIRAL FARRAGUT: Competing in almost any other district, he would have a first-place ribbon by now. Alas, the District 6 runner-up has to battle Chris Colwill, Tampa Prep's three-time state champion. It's obvious the underclassman has learned from his club teammate, however, as he secured the fourth seed with a season-best 496.65 points.

_ Compiled by John Schwarb.

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