3A state swim & dive: Shorewood diver captures state crown

After a heartbreaking runner-up finish last year, Isaac Poole gains redemption with a state title.

FEDERAL WAY — It was sweet redemption for Isaac Poole.

One year after a heartbreaking finish left him just short of a state title for the second consecutive season, the Shorewood senior completed his championship quest in style Saturday night.

Poole executed a superb final dive and captured the Class 3A diving state crown with a 446.65-point performance during the boys swim and dive state championships at King County Aquatic Center.

As he rose to the water’s surface following his final dive, Poole pumped both arms in jubilation and let out a celebratory scream as the crowd cheered on.

“Right when I hit the water, I just started screaming underneath the water,” Poole said. “There was just so much pent-up emotion and frustration about not winning the last two years, and (also) just relief at that moment.

“When I got out of the water and they announced the scores and I knew that I had won,” he added, “I just fell down and I was just lying on the ground. I was so happy.”

After placing 10th in the state as a first-year freshman diver and taking second place as a sophomore, Poole was in position to win the state title last season. Entering the final round, he led Bainbridge’s Kiernan Liberman by 13.35 points.

But Poole didn’t properly complete his final dive, resulting in a zero from every judge. He finished as the state runner-up to Liberman for the second consecutive year.

Yet instead of dwelling on the heartbreak, Poole used it as fuel.

“Last year was definitely a motivator,” he said. “… I don’t want to say that I’m happy I lost last year, but it definitely made an impact on how I trained.

“I really just didn’t want to stand on the second-place podium anymore,” he added. “I was sick of it. I wanted to be on top. I should’ve had it last year, and I was gonna make sure that I got it this year.”

Poole found himself in an almost identical situation Saturday. Entering the final round, he held a 17.15-point lead over second-place Liberman.

This time, the Shorewood star capped his meet in spectacular fashion.

Poole left no doubt with his final dive, garnering 52.8 points on an exquisite front-1.5-full-twist to seal the victory. He finished 39.95 points ahead of Liberman, ending the Bainbridge senior’s two-year reign as state champion.

“I really like ending with (that dive), because it’s a really strong, consistent dive of mine,” Poole said. “And it actually didn’t get really good until this season, so I’m really glad that I could clean it up.

“I was super nervous,” he added. “On the end of the board, I was actually shaking. … (But) I knew that I would be able to just drill that dive every time, no matter what I was thinking.”

Shorewood dive coach Kirsten Schneider said Poole’s ability to execute difficult dives — particularly those with 2.5 rotations — stems from a relentless drive to hone the minute details of his craft.

“Lots of people have talent,” Schneider said, “but few people are as disciplined and as hard-working and willing to (train) every day with such dedication. … That’s what makes him really exceptional.”

Other local 3A medalists

A pair of Marysville divers also reached the state podium. Marysville Pilchuck junior Andrew Kallio took third place (383.85 points) for his second consecutive top-four state medal and Marysville Getchell freshman Eric Davydenko placed sixth (329.30 points).

Lynnwood senior Zachary Bevans earned a third-place medal in the 100-yard butterfly, speeding to a time of 50.08 seconds.

Shorewood senior Cole Nouwens placed sixth in both the 50 freestyle (21.57) and 100 breaststroke (57.78).

Shorewood senior Ryan Reid finished eighth in the 500 freestyle (4:49.82).

Talk to us

More in Sports

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason runs a drill during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Injuries could open door for Eason to start for Colts

The former Lake Stevens star is taking reps with the first team with Carson Wentz out indefinitely.

Lake Steven's Trayce Hanks makes a catch for a touchdown during the Cougars Championship Passing Tournament at Lakewood High School on Saturday, July 31, 2021 in Arlington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Lakewood hosts annual 7-on-7 football tournament

Some of the top schools in the region came out for the event, which included the popular lineman challenge.

Hadyn Fluery, a defenseman from the Anaheim Ducks, walks off stage after being introduced as a new player with the Seattle Kraken NHL hockey team, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, during the Kraken's expansion draft event in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Patterson: Can Kraken match success of Golden Knights? Maybe

Seattle’s roster may be as talented as the initial Vegas roster, but lacks additional future assets.

Xander Schauffele, of the United States, holds his gold medal in the men's golf at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Kawagoe, Japan. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
U.S. golfer claims gold, as bronze goes to playoff holes

Bellevue golfer C.T. Pan, who represented Chinese Taipei, won the seven-way playoff.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marlowe homers twice, AquaSox defeat Emeralds

Everett snaps a brief two-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over Eugene.

Runners pass the Olympic rings as they compete during the first round of the women’s 5,000-meter at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Friday in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Markovc finishes 20th in Olympic women’s 5,000 meters

The Glacier Peak High School graduate placed ninth in her heat and did not advance to Monday’s final.

Jackson's Ryan Contreras is welcomed by teammate Dominic Hellman after Contreras' home run Friday afternoon at Funko Field at Memorial Stadium in Everett on April 23, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep notebook: Jackson baseball star picked for All-American game

Also, 2 local high school wrestlers place at the USA Wrestling nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.

Silvertips’ Michal Gut fights Tri-City's Sasha Mutala for the puck during the game against the Tr-City Americans on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Import forward Gut to return to Silvertips for 21-22 season

The 2002-born center was not with the team last season due to virus-related travel restrictions.

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert celebrates during the second half of a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game against UCLA, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Edmonds native Kispert drafted by Wizards at No. 15 overall

Former Gonzaga star Corey Kispert was selected by the Washington Wizards in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Most Read