To complement her swim team, Meloni DiPietro-Guthoerl advertised for new recruits. She put up a flyer at Seton La Salle High School that asked: “Are you a gymnast? We want you on the diving team!”
Taylor Weyrich answered the call and then some. The junior shattered school records this winter and now she is bound for Bucknell University to compete in the PIAA championships to be held March 13-16.
“Taylor is new to the sport but she is a decorated gymnast,” DiPietro-Guthoerl pointed out.
With the help of diving coach Dave Watterson, Weyrich made the transition to a new activity.
“(Diving) is a very different sport than gymnastics, but it correlates,” explained DiPietro-Guthoerl. “You have the twist and turns and have to learn how to control your body as you land—whether that’s in a pool or on a mat. Taylor took to diving like, well, a fish to the water.”
During a meet at Ringgold earlier this season, Weyrich shattered the previous school record of 184.5 points when she posted a 225.75 score for her six-dive list. Then in a dual meet against Ellis School and Serra Catholic at Chatham University, Weyrich topped that mark with a 238.67 score.
On Feb. 22, she reached yet another milestone. In addition to being the first SLS diver to compete in the WPIAL championships, she is also the first to gain a PIAA berth. By virtue of her fourth-place finish with a 325.65 score on her 11-dive card, Weyrich qualifed for the state finals.
“We had high hopes for her at the meet since she had a great year, earning over 200 points in five meets over our season,” said DiPietro-Guthoerl.
Anna Vogt from Ringgold captured her second straight Class AA title with a 436.05 score. The top six divers advanced to the PIAA championships.
Weyrich will be joined by two other area divers – Owen Johns from Mt. Lebanon and Sadie Coda from Bethel Park.
During the WPIAL Class AAA championships held Feb. 23 at North Allegheny, Johns took third in the boys’ competition with a 526.60 score. While Jonah Cagley of Fox Chapel successfully defended his title with 588.95 points, Johns makes his fourth trip to the state finals.
The senior finished fourth in the district as a freshman and followed up that showing with back-to-back WPIAL runner-up performances before taking the bronze this year. Logan Sherwin of Penn-Trafford secured second place this winter with a 557.65 score.
In the girls’ Class AAA competition, Coda improved upon back-to-back 10th place showings by finishing fourth with 405.70 points. The junior was among the top five divers to qualify for the state competition.
Paige Kalik from Penn-Trafford won the Class AAA title with 496.65 points. Kalik is the first diver to repeat since Maria Lohman accomplished the feat. Since moving up a classification, Lohman won three of her four titles at the AAA level from 2013-15.