FEDERAL WAY - Year after year, Squalicum diver Tori Franzen inched closer and closer to capturing a individual diving state title.
She finished fourth as a freshman, third as a sophomore and second last year as a junior. She wasn't about to leave the King County Aquatic Center on Saturday, Nov. 10, without a first-place state medal around her neck.
"I was working my way up," said Franzen with a laugh. "I finally got it."
She didn't leave much doubt, either.
During preliminaries on Friday, Nov. 9, divers completed their first eight dives of the 11-dive program. Competitors had just three attempts Saturday to earn their placing.
Franzen nearly locked up a title after day one. She entered the final day with 277.60 points - 54 points ahead of second place.
If there was any question whether she could hold her lead, she ended it quickly.
Franzen performed a forward somersault, two twist for 37.95 points on her first dive, a reverse one somersault tuck for 24 points on her second dive and completed her program with one of her favorite and strongest dives - a forward two somersault tuck, earning her 44 points.
"I just wanted to nail all my dives today and do the best I could do," Franzen said. "I was close to beating my PR, so that was my goal today. It feels so good. To finally achieve your goal is always good."
Franzen not only won a state title, she set a new 2A meet standard with her 383.55 point total.
"The highlight of the meet, of course, was Tori," Gibb said. "She has worked all four years really hard to get there, and she's been right there knocking on the door. She slammed the door today with an exclamation mark."
While Saturday's performance will undoubtedly be a memorable one, Franzen said she completed a dive she's been working on all season Friday during prelims.
"My double is my favorite, and I always end on it," Franzen said. "It's a fun note to end on, and it's one of my better dives. Yesterday, I did a two and a half. I have been trying to complete it all season. ... It definitely makes it more fun that I beat a record."
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.