Above, Van Wert’s Kase Schalois attempts a dive while judges watch on during the district diving championships in Bowling Green Wednesday. Schalois placed second. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
BY BRIAN BASSETT
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
BOWLING GREEN - Kase Schalois is going to state. Again.
The Van Wert senior diver placed second at Wednesday's Division II Northwest District Diving Championships at Cooper Pool on the campus of Bowling Green State University with a score of 425.2, 9.4 points shy of Napoleon's Tim Pelltier who finished first.
The finish marks Schalois' third trip to the state diving championships in as many years. "It might be a little bit more exciting (than the first two trips) because I finally got a silver medal," he explained. "But as far as qualifying, it's about as exciting (as before). It's always good to go back to state. I'm just hoping to do some big things down there."
Schalois was joined at the district meet by sophomore teammate Josh Overholt, who placed 18th out of the 27-diver field with a score of 172.15. Overholt made the first cut, which narrowed the field to 20, but was one of four divers who narrowly missed the finals.
"The first round wasn't too great. On my one-and-a-half I broke my pike by accident - bent my knees a little bit. Then on my forward double I didn't get off the board correctly and didn't get around as I wanted to. That kind of screwed up my score a little bit.
"But in the second round I felt like I nailed all my dives and got my score up. I just barely didn't make it in (the finals)," said Overholt.
Schalois edged WBL foe Collen Byer, a senior from Celina, who took third with 391.7 points. Schalois admitted that he wished he could have a few dives back, however.
"There were definitely a couple of dives that I could have done better. My back one-and-a-half, my front one-and-a-half and my full twist, I've done better. If I could have gone straight up and down in the water on my back one-and-a-half, I probably could have won," Schalois said.
Van Wert diving coach Martha Martin was happy with the performance of both of her divers. "I think both of my divers did great," she explained. "It's Johs's first time at districts, so he was very nervous today. I think he did awesome.
"Kase, I couldn't be prouder of him. He wanted to be right where he was, and he worked towards that. He's gotten where he wanted to be."
Now where Schalois wants to be is on the podium at state next week. "His big goal is to go high on the podium," said Martin.
The Cougar senior has one week to prepare for his third and final trip to the state diving competition."I'm just going to run through every one of my dives and try to critique little things that are throwing me off and keeping me from getting more points.
"I'm going to go to Jay County High School Sunday and I'm going to dive there for three hours. Then just hit the nail on the head. Hit every dive and make sure every dive is clean," Schalois added.
While Schalois diving career will come to an end in Canton next Wednesday, Overholt's has just begun. And he appreciates the experience he picked up Wednesday.
"I've learned so much this year. A lot of my friends say I've progressed so much since the beginning of the year. So all I can do is dive and get better. Hopefully over the summer I can practice even more so that when it comes this time next year I can nail every dive and go to state," Overholt added.