For the first time in four years, there is room at the top in the Kansas state diving competition.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Olathe Northwest graduate Clark Thomas, who now dives for Missouri, went undefeated during his high school career, including the last four big-class state diving championships.
During the preliminary and semifinal rounds Thursday at the Kansas State Swimming and Diving Championships at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium, Blue Valley North senior Chris Cusick happily stepped into the void.
Cusick, who two weeks ago won the East Kansas League championship, finished second to Thomas in Class 6A a year ago, but now he’s positioned for a championship.
He led Sunflower League champion Josh Read, an Olathe Northwest sophomore, by 10 points after the preliminary round.
Cusick widened that in the semifinals and, with 327.25 points, leads Blue Valley West sophomore Daniel Fecteau (309.55) by nearly 18 points entering today’s final round.
Read slipped to third after the semifinals (297.95).
Meanwhile, in the Class 5-1A championship chase, a pair of Shawnee Mission South sophomore divers separated themselves.
Jackson Conrad totaled 248.55 points through the semifinals and leads Raiders teammate Ali Arab (240.65) by nearly eight points.
St. Thomas Aquinas junior Scott Sheridan is third (214.85).
Last year’s Class 5-1A champion, Blue Valley senior Corey Luetjen, moved up to Class 6A and failed to qualify from prelims.