Britton Murrey took a giant leap toward attaining his goal of standing on the podium at the Class 2A state meet following Thursday night’s prelims at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Brainerd Warriors senior led for most of the preliminary rounds and wound up third after eight dives with 280.85 points.
He trails only Tyler Magalis (Farmington), who has 324.25 points, and Andrew Germain (Blaine) with 290.95. Aaron Rooney of Alexandria is fourth with 275.05.
“I had a pretty solid night,” Murrey said. “It was nice having coach (Owen) Trout there alongside me. He was keeping me focused, keeping me in my game.
“Overall, I had a solid first five dives. My middle three were a little bit weaker, but I have a solid final list coming up for the final three.”
After the first five dives Murrey was in first place. Then Magalis began to make a move.
“Honestly, he’s a very good diver,” Murrey said. “I knew it would be very close. He left the door open a little bit. We went back and forth. I led until his last dive. He nailed his last dive pretty good, an inward 2-and-a-half.”
Trout said Murrey’s early list of dives was front-end loaded for a reason.
“When you come down here nerves play a big part in the competition, like in all big meets and all big events,” he said.
“Britt getting off to good a lead like he did has been his pattern,” Trout added. “His first five dives were very solid.
“Magalis is a very good diver. He had a very good inward 2-and-a-half with 3.1 (degree of difficulty). He hit that for nearly 70 points. However, Britt has that same dive coming up in the finals. If he hits that it could give him the same point total.”
Murrey led after the first two rounds, was second after the third, regained the lead after the fourth and maintained it after the fifth and sixth rounds. Magalis seized the lead after the seventh round.
“I think Britt got into their heads when he got off to the lead,” Trout said. “We purposely had a high (degree of difficulty) on the front end. He surprised some people. They had to play catch-up and they pressed a little bit. I could see the confidence in Britt. He stayed focused.”
Murrey advances to Saturday night’s finals where he has three dives remaining.
“I’m hoping to stay in the top three,” he said. “Hopefully I can move up to second. (Magalis) has some big (degree of difficulty) dives coming up. It will be hard (to move up) but with diving anything goes. All it takes is one dive to catch up or to go back down.”
One-meter diving prelims
1-Tyler Magalis (Farmington) 324.25
2-Andrew Germain (Blaine) 290.95
3-Britton Murrey (Brd) 280.85
4-Aaron Rooney (Alexandria) 275.05
5-Sean Leverton (Blaine) 273.55
6-Conner Garrett (Rochester John Marshall) 265.60
7-Andres Villa (Bloomington Kennedy) 262.95
8-Jon Telgren (Anoka) 258.30
9-Liam Gibb (Stillwater) 258.15
10-Keith Krowza (Eagan) 248.45
11-Justin Bublitz (Winona) 246.60
12-Wyatt Johnson (Moorhead) 245.45
13-Dustin Gens (Watertown-Mayer) 242.75
14-Aaron Stinson (Duluth Central) 239.45
15-Blake Solberg (Buffalo) 237.55
16-Evan Ostendorf (Lakeville South) 237.35