Decatur diver wins state

After flip-flopping in the standings with Woodinville senior Lindsay Draper, Decatur senior Christina Hussong flipped, tucked and spun her way to a state diving championship.

Technically, Hussong’s last dive was a back 1 1/2 somersault with a 1/2 twist.

But whatever you call it, Hussong’s final score of 392.35 was good enough to beat Draper’s score of 391.50 in the Washington State Class 4A Diving Championships Friday and Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

“The last dive I was like, ‘I’m so nervous, but I know I can do this dive well. I might as well go for it and do the best I can,’ ” Hussong said.

“I knew it was going to be a tough competition. I really didn’t think I was going to get it. (Draper) did awesome on her last dive. After it showed she got second, I couldn’t even explain it.”

The final scores are cumulative totals of all 11 dives in the competition. The first eight dives make up the preliminary round, with the final round consisting of three dives.

Hussong trailed Draper by 8.4 points after the preliminary round — 279.3 to 287.7 — but made up for that margin with a higher degree of difficulty in her final three dives.

“Both dove great,” Decatur coach Tom Knapton said of Hussong and Draper. “They’ve been going back and forth. It’s a great way for Christina to finish her senior year.”

Hussong’s win caps a high school career that included a ninth place finish at state her freshman year, sixth place finish her sophomore year and a third place finish as a junior.

“Freshman year I blew it because I was looking around and saw so many people,” Hussong said of the large number of spectators who attend the state meet. “Every year it’s gotten smaller to me, or maybe I’m just used to it.

“I’ve been so energized and pumped up to go,” she said. “Now that it’s over, I was actually sad it was the last dive of my high school career. But it was nice to end like that.”

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