Sawyer Aitken, Jaylen Shaver dive to gold medals

By Tom Robinson - For Dallas Post
Dallas’ Jaelyn Shaver performs a dive en route to a gold medal in the District 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valleye CYC in Wilkes-Barre. - Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post
Dallas’ Gianna Leo performs a dive en route to a silver medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valley CYC. - Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post
Tunkhannock’s Sawyer Aitken dives to a gold medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A boys diving championships. - Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

Sawyer Aitken completed a steady climb to the top of District 2 Class 2A diving.

Jaelyn Shaver got there in a hurry.

The Tunkhannock senior and Dallas freshman won the gold medals Feb. 24 at the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre when the district conducted the diving portion of its swimming championships.

The swimming events are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Aitken, a district runner-up as a junior, finished 14th in the state in Class 2A each of the past two seasons. Following the holidays, he started feeling the momentum building toward the postseason and got an additional boost with two record-setting performances in the final two weeks of the regular season.

“After Christmas break, I just started picking up the pace and just really started feeling so much better, a lot more confident,” Aitken said. “I was just able to start hitting the dives I needed to hit so much better.”

Aitken carried that confidence through a 106.8-point win over teammate Hunter Whytashek, posting a score of 415.8.

Shaver was also part of a 1-2 finish for her school, beating out teammate Gianna Leo, a 16th-place state finisher a year ago, in a much closer competition.

Shaver edged Leo, 371.9-351.4.

Paul Mierzwa coaches the divers for both Dallas and Holy Redeemer, which had the meet’s third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers.

“I’m really happy,” Shaver told the Times Leader. “I didn’t think I’d come in here and win.

“I just tried to do my best.”

Aitken, Whytashek, Shaver and Leo all qualified for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships March 14-17 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

Dallas’ Jaelyn Shaver performs a dive en route to a gold medal in the District 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valleye CYC in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_TTL022518DistrictDiving_1-1.jpgDallas’ Jaelyn Shaver performs a dive en route to a gold medal in the District 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valleye CYC in Wilkes-Barre. Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

Dallas’ Gianna Leo performs a dive en route to a silver medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valley CYC.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_TTL022518DistrictDiving_2-1.jpgDallas’ Gianna Leo performs a dive en route to a silver medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A girls diving championships at the Wyoming Valley CYC. Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

Tunkhannock’s Sawyer Aitken dives to a gold medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A boys diving championships.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_TTL022518DistrictDiving_4-1.jpgTunkhannock’s Sawyer Aitken dives to a gold medal in the Distict 2 Class 2A boys diving championships. Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

By Tom Robinson

For Dallas Post

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-704-3982 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-704-3982 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.