Boys diving: Portage’s John Fannin takes top spot at regional
By Mike Clark Sun-Times Media February 25, 2014 11:14PM
Updated: March 27, 2014 6:51AM
The undercard is finished, and John Fannin is ready for the main event.
The Portage senior followed up his win at the LaPorte Sectional on Saturday by taking first in the Penn Diving Regional on Tuesday night.
Fannin, who scored a personal-best 487.80 points at the sectional, finished with 437.15 on Tuesday. Penn’s Wayne Zhang was runner-up at 412.60.
The top eight finishers in the 20-diver field advanced to state. Other local qualifiers were Lake Central sophomore Alex Morgan, who was third with 387.05 points; LC freshman Drake Hunt (sixth, 366.25); Highland junior Mitch Mastey (seventh, 365.90) and Crown Point senior Sage Chiaro (eighth, 358.45).
“It was pretty decent,” Fannin said of his night. “There are things I need to improve on.”
But he has three more days of practice to do that before competing in the IHSAA state meet on Saturday in Indianapolis.
“He dove consistent,” Portage diving coach Joe Hulse said. “I think he had some better dives at the sectional. ... I think it was maybe just the nerves of qualifying for state (on Tuesday). We do have some things to work out and keep that consistency.”
The experience factor should be on Fannin’s side as he prepares for his second state meet. He finished 17th a year ago.
“Last year was his first time competing down there, also his first year with his reverse 21/2 somersault,” Hulse said. “He’s been very consistent with that dive this sectional and regional meet.”
The goal is to keep that going for one more competition.
“I want to place (at state),” Fannin said. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”