Isaac Poole’s success-filled diving season ended in heartbreaking fashion.
The talented Shorewood junior took the lead with a 57.35-point dive in the 10th round of Saturday’s Class 3A state diving competition, giving him a 13.35-point advantage over defending state champion Kiern Liberman entering the final round.
But on the final dive of the entire meet, Poole didn’t properly complete his dive. That resulted in a failed dive, meaning he received a zero from every judge.
Poole finished with 410.45 points, earning him a second-place state medal for the second consecutive season. Liberman, a junior from Bainbridge, claimed back-to-back state titles with a winning score of 443 points at King County Aquatic Center.
“I knew that I was going to win if I just nailed (that final) dive, but I just didn’t,” Poole said. “I entered the water and I just (was in) shock. I was like, ‘What just happened?’ … It was really tough.”
Despite not scoring on his last dive, Poole took second place by more than 28 points. He also improved by nearly 40 points on his score from last year’s runner-up finish.
In last week’s 3A district dive competition, Poole recorded a winning score of 498.35 points, coming within 0.9 points of a district meet record that’s stood since 1991.
“I’m super proud of him, and a lot of people are too,” Shorewood dive coach Tymoteusz Merchel said. “It sucks right now, but everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that and Isaac truly believes that, so he’s going to keep his head up (and) keep doing what he does.
“I think he’s going to go out and just absolutely dominate next year and just destroy,” he added, “because this is fuel to the fire.”
After the state dive competition concluded, several divers approached Poole and offered words of support.
“Having so many supportive people around me, it’s incredible,” Poole said. “This is the best community I’ve ever been a part of. Everybody wants to help you out and congratulate you. It’s just amazing.
“And it really helps after you mess up like that, just how so many people around you (are) giving you words of advice and words of love. It’s really nice.”
MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK DIVER PLACES 4TH
Marysville Pilchuck sophomore Andrew Kallio executed a difficult final dive to claim a fourth-place medal in the 3A diving competition with 346.35 points.
Kallio, a second-year diver who placed 19th in state last year, completed a back two-and-a-half twist in the final round to move from sixth to fourth place.
“He’s a great diver and he earned it,” Marysville Pilchuck dive coach Shauna Kopischka said. “It came down to the last dive. If he didn’t nail that, he would’ve probably gotten fifth, so he’s a competitor. He told me, ‘I have to nail it.’ And he did, so I’m proud of him. I’m pretty impressed.”
OTHER TOP 3A LOCALS
Shorewood junior Cole Nouwens tied for sixth place in the 100 breaststroke (58.66) and helped the Thunderbirds to a pair of relay medals.
The Shorewood team of Nouwens and seniors Bennett Vana, Jack Brodersen and Karl Lapham placed sixth in both the 200 medley relay (1:38.83) and 200 freestyle relay (1:28.83).
The Thunderbirds were the top local finisher in the 3A team standings, placing 10th with 87.5 points.
Edmonds-Woodway also earned a pair of relay medals.
The team of senior Daniel Eno, juniors Yuteng Wang and Anton Teplouhov and sophomore Jeff Plum gave the Warriors a seventh-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:39.73).
Edmonds-Woodway’s 200 freestyle relay team of Teplouhov, Eno, junior Niko Inadomi and senior Lukas Mraz also placed seventh (1:29.04).
Shorecrest senior Aric Prieve capped his prep career with a pair of medals, placing sixth in the 100 freestyle (47.63) and seventh in the 100 backstroke (52.82).