EAST MEADOW — Matt Parent saved his toughest dive for last. The reverse double is not the Glens Falls’ senior’s highest degree of difficulty but it was the one he was least confident in.
Parent hit the dive and finished 10th in Friday’s state diving competition, eight places higher than the past two years. His goal had just been to make it to the final round.
Parent and diving coach Missy Higley, who also coaches Queensbury and Hudson Falls/South Glens Falls, front-loaded his dives for states. There are cuts after five dives and against after eight dives and they wanted to make sure he got to the end.
Higley put the higher degrees of difficulty in the first five and then focused on repeating the whole eight in practice to make sure Parent was comfortable.
It’s been an odd final two seasons for Parent in that the divers have been separated from the swimmers on the team.
The diving board at Glens Falls broke and even if the school had wanted to replace it, it wouldn’t have mattered. The pool was not legal for diving but had been grandfathered in; a new board would not have been.
So Parent and the other divers went to Hudson Falls to practice, often with Higley’s two other teams’ divers.
It’s a weird dynamic, but by bringing together the few divers from each school together, all three teams are able to have divers in their programs.
Unlike diving, Friday only saw the swim preliminaries, not finals. Queensbury’s Ethan Ballard swam both the 100-yard and 50-yard freestyle races.
Ballard finished 17th in the 100 at 47.64 seconds, which holds pretty close to his qualifying time. He was 10th in the 50 at 21.41 seconds, a tenth of a second off his qualifying time.