Junior diver Samantha Smith has already made Brainerd diving history one day into the Class 2A state diving championship.
On Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Smith posted a score of 238.75 through the prelims and semifinals to put her in eighth place overall, 1.5 points behind the seventh place finisher and five points ahead of the ninth place finisher.
Smith finished second with a score of 342.75 in the section finals to earn her trip to state.
Samantha Smith posted a score of 238.75
According to head diving coach Mary Streiff, Smith's place through day one, consisting of eight rounds, is the highest in program history and it puts her in position to capture the program's highest all-time finish in Saturday's finals, which consist of three rounds.
Sixteen divers remain for the finals. A top-eight finish would give Smith all-state honors and Streiff believes she has the ability to accomplish that feat in her first appearance at state.
"She's a great athlete who's been in big competitions before. It's nothing new for her," she said. "She was very calm and collected. I think she has enough to hold on for a big finish."
TY RUSHMEYER, sports writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5865.
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