Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Chagrin’s Samantha Holtz defends state diving title

Chagrin Falls senior Samantha Holtz defended her state diving championship on Wednesday at the 2024 OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships at C.T. Natatorium in Canton.

Holtz, who placed third as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore before winning the state title as a junior, won her second straight state championship with a score of 491.95, beating second-place Mara Cashman of Napoleon for the second straight year.

“It’s definitely been a long time coming,” Holtz said of defending her title. “You only get four years of high school, so to be the champ two years in a row is something really special.”

Heading into the state tournament, Holtz felt some pressure as the defending champion, but once she toed the board, those nerves subsided, and Holtz relied on her training to get the job done.

“There definitely was a little pressure going into this wanting to get first again, but I had my coaches at my side and they were telling me to stay calm and do what I know how to do,” Holtz said. “I had my team up in the stands cheering me on too, so once I got there, the nerves kind of passed.”

Holtz and Cashman traded the top spot for most of the 11 dives.

Scoreboard watching could have led to her losing focus on the board, so Holtz locked in on what she could control.

“I know a lot of divers definitely look at those scoreboards between dives, but I kind of just want to let it pan out how it’s supposed to pan out,” she said. “In the moment, I just worried about my dives.”

Holtz saved her inward double dive for her 11th and final dive.

She nailed the dive, but at the same time, she realized that dive was the last she’d make in high school before heading to Harvard University.

“I think that has the potential to score the highest, but I was a little teary-eyed going up on the board,” she said. “That was my last (high school) dive ever, so obviously, it was a little bit special.”

Beachwood senor Nina Mayer also closed out her career at the state diving championships.

She placed 30th with a score of 126.5.

 

 

 

Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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