Two PaliHi Divers Qualify for State

Photos by Lesly Hall Photography

The Los Angeles City Section diving finals were held at PaliHi’s Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center on May 10. Nineteen divers from six high schools competed.

After 11 dives, Palisades High School’s sole diver, Alexis Kleshik, won the girls 1-meter event with 465.95 points. Crystal Farrand from Sylmar was second with 332.20 points and Sanam Viliani from Venice was third with 294.75.

These three divers will compete in the state championships on May 19-20 at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex near Fresno.

Sophomore Asa Tatro placed fourth.

Sophomore Asa Tatro placed fourth.

In the boys division, Lucas Widgand from El Camino captured first with 375.20 points, Chad Curtis from Granada Hills was second with 371.05, and third went to PaliHi’s Andrei Kozeluh with 332.30, who edged out teammate Asa Tatro’s 328.15.

Granada Hills won the overall diving competition with 53 points in the boys division and 52 points in the girls division. Palisades was second in the boys with 31 points and third in the girls with 20.

Pali’s diving coach Tom Davidson, who also coaches at L.A. Dive Club, said that sophomore Kleshik has been diving since she was 11. “She is an excellent diver with good form,” he said. “Asa [Tatro] started last year and qualified for state, and Andrei started this season and did a great job learning all the necessary dives to compete at the city meet—and qualify for state.”

Alexis Kleshik took first in the City Section finals.

Alexis Kleshik took first in the City Section finals.

Davidson explained that each diver is required to make two dives from each of the five dive groups (forward, inward, back, reverse and twist).

“This sport can be a bit scary; after all, we are asking them to spin and twist, while trying to stay close to the springboard,” Davidson said.

Davidson explained that each diver is required to make two dives from each of the five dive groups (forward, inward, back, reverse and twist).

“There will be days when things go wrong and they smack (do a belly flop) while learning a new dive. The really good divers know this and accept it and get back up and try it again.”

For high school competitions, all diving is off the 1-meter board. Club divers also learn to dive from the 10-meter platform. Davidson was asked what makes a good diver. “Someone who is a little adventurous and willing to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” 

Freshman Andrei Kozeluh was third.

Freshman Andrei Kozeluh was third.

If parents are interested in having their child try diving, contact Davidson at ladiveclub@gmail.com.

“I have helped many divers move onto college,” he said. “Currently there are three of our club alumni who are representing UCLA. Three of our graduating seniors are all diving at college (Amherst, Tulane and UCLA).”

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