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

County Hall of Fame Class of 2020: 72-73 Meadowdale football

The then-Chiefs finished with a perfect 10-0 record and outscored opponents 248-66.

Former New England Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett II is inactive for the Seattle Seahawks for Sunday’s game, meaning he won’t be playing against his former team. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Seahawks vs. Patriots inactives: Dorsett sits again

Starting receivers Edelman and Harry are active for New England after being listed as questionable.

Noisy Seahawks fans will be absent for Sunday’s home opener

Seattle will be without its deafening homefield advantage on Sunday night against New England.

Meet the 9 new members of the Snohomish County Sports HOF

The class includes legendary teams, athletes, coaches and voices from the area.

Mariners top Padres, snap losing skid

Kyle Lewis homers as Seattle beats San Diego 4-1 to end a four-game losing streak.

County Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Sherrie Chambers-Wilson

The 1981 Snohomish High School graduate was named Female Athlete of the Year by USA Judo in 1995.

Sue Bird (left) and Breanna Stewart are looking to lead the Seattle Storm to the WNBA championship, just as they did in 2018. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL RESULTS: Readers have big belief in the Seattle Storm

More than three-quarters of the voters picked the Storm to claim the WNBA championship.

California cool, Wolff takes detour to U.S. Open lead

The 21-year-old hits just two fairways but still matches the lowest major score ever at Winged Foot.

WNBA postpones game between Storm and Lynx due to COVID-19

The players with inconclusive results have undergone additional testing and are in isolation.

Most Read