FREDERICK — Mary Kate Cavanaugh is giving up low scoring dives for lent.
The freshman standout brought her best on Wednesday afternoon at the Carbon Valley Rec Center. And even though her winning score of 474.75 points wasn’t her best of the season — she went 477.60 in the first meet of the year — she was still all smiles afterwards.
“Sometimes when I get in a rhythm I can get a little overconfident,” Cavanaugh said. “Hitting the big dives is great, but I still have to focus on the next dive and hitting the whole list of dives.”
Cavanaugh’s effort on Wednesday was just one of the many highlights for the Tigers against Erie in a 115-69 victory that takes them to 3-0-1 on the season with one final dual meet next Tuesday, senior night, against Windsor at the VMAC. Following that will be the NCAC League meet the following Saturday in Greeley followed by the Class 3A state meet on Saturday, March 13.
Cavanaugh was brilliant from the get-go. She twice got the judges to flip scores of 9’s — including her inward dive pike and the reverse dive pike — but more importantly was able to hit on her toughest degree of difficulty dive. Her front two somersault pike was her biggest scoring dive of the event.
“Sometimes when I start off a little slow it is a sign that I just need to be a little bit more focused,” she said. “But when I hit that inward dive early and they threw up those numbers, I knew it was going to be a good day.”
And Cavanaugh wasn’t the only Holy Family diver to have a big day. Kathryne Johnson, who upped her personal best score by 50 points last week against Centaurus, added another 30 points on Wednesday for a personal best score — and state qualifying total — of 365.18 points.
“I’m so happy for Kathryne,” said Cavanaugh, who is nearly 60 points clear of her closest competition in the latest PrepSwimCo.com statewide 3A rankings. “It’s a lot of fun to have, not just Kathryne but four others, to dive with and have that competition with.”
Those state rankings had the Tigers sitting in fourth in the state behind Evergreen, Aspen and Glenwood Springs. Holy Family closed the gap in the rankings that come out weekly, especially in the relays.
In the opening 200-yard medley relay, the quartet of Abigail Philipsen, Olivia Zuhoski, Catherine Chapman and Jadyn Abeyta went 1:58.41. That is currently the fourth quickest time in the event this year.
The Tigers already have the best time in the 200 free relay, so moving up in the 400 free was imperative. And they did. Summer Norwell, Philipsen, Zuhoski and Chapman touched in 3:55.06 and moved from the sixth overall seed to No. 2.
The addition of Philipsen back to the lineup after an injured hand kept her out of the first two meets of the season have given the Tigers a jolt. And after a disqualification in the 200 individual medley for a early start, the sophomore bounced back in the 100 backstroke with the third fastest time in the event this year — behind Jaime Dellwardt of Berthoud and Chapman — of 1:00.61.
Other winners for the Tigers, included Kaitlyn Genzer (2:11.20 in the 200 free) and Chapman (2:16.75 in the 200 IM — third best in 3A this year and 5:58.34 in the 500 free).
HOLY FAMILY 115, ERIE 69
At Carbon Valley Rec Center
200-yard medley relay — 1. Holy Family (Philipsen, Zuhoski, Chapman, Abeyta) 1:58.41; 200 freestyle — 1. Kaitlyn Genzer, Holy Family, 2:11.20; 200 IM — 1. Catherine Chapman, Holy Family, 2:16.75; 50 free — 1. Anna Lillie, Erie, 25.96; 2. Madelyn Szabo, Holy Family, 27.98; Diving — 1. Mary Kate Cavanaugh, Holy Family, 474.75 points; 100 butterfly — 1. Kambrie Payne, Erie, 1:07.45; 2. Olivia Zuhoski, Holy Family, 1:08.56; 100 free — Anna Lillie, Erie, 56.41; 2. Kaitlyn Genzer, Holy Family, 1:00.30; 500 free — 1. Catherine Chapman, Holy Family, 5:58.34; 200 free relay — 1. Holy Family (Abeyta, Szabo, Norwell, Wood) 1:51.85; 100 backstroke — 1. Abigail Philipsen, Holy Family, 1:00.61; 100 breaststroke — 1. Anna Dunn, Erie, 1:21.09; 3. Kristina Frewerd, Holy Family, 1:24.46; 400 free relay — 1. Holy Family (Norwell, Philipsen, Zuhoski, Chapman) 3:55.06.