Boys Swimming and Diving: Riverside-Brookfield’s Harrison Nolan takes second in state diving competition
EVANSTON â€“ Riverside-Brookfield sophomore Harrison Nolan was barely in elementary school when he started diving at his country club.
When he was 8, he began training with Windy City Diving, a premier club program based in Chicago.
â€œBest decision of my life,â€ Nolan said. â€œI got so much better at a really rapid rate.â€
Nolan is still improving rapidly. After finishing fifth at the state meet as a freshman, he moved up three places this year, scoring 522.95 points to finish second at Saturdayâ€™s finals.
Homewood-Flossmoor senior Jack Williams, who is one of Nolanâ€™s club teammates at Windy City, won his second consecutive state championship with a pool record 544.20.
â€œMe and Jack have been doing travel together,â€ Nolan said. â€œWe are both on Windy City Diving, so this was basically like practice.
â€˜Weâ€™re both pretty good buddies and itâ€™s good to see both of us do well.â€
The Penn-bound Williams took notice when Nolan scored a whopping 604.10 points to win the Lyons Township Sectional by nearly 150 points. That total would have been a state record had he done it at the state meet.
â€œOnce you have someone who is gearing up with you to compete, it pushes you to do the best stuff at every dive,â€ Williams said. â€œSo when I saw his sectional score, I was like, â€˜Oh, boy, itâ€™s going to be a great meet.â€™
â€œIâ€™m really working hard on keeping myself calm in these situations while knowing that I have great competition right on my heels.â€
The battle for the title turned into a two-way race between Williams and Nolan. Williams led 393.30 to 370.15 after Fridayâ€™s semifinal round, with no other diver within 30 points of Nolan.
In the end, Williams won because of a slightly higher degree of difficulty, hitting a back 2 and finishing with a full twisting 2 .
But Nolan was satisfied with his placement, which is the highest finish by a diver in program history. He also is the first Bulldog to win two state diving medals.
â€œI was really happy with my reverse 1-1/2 with 1 twists and front 2 pike today,â€ Nolan said. â€œThey were both pretty good.
â€œThe difference this year is I just feel like Iâ€™ve gained a lot more consistency, throwing a couple new dives into the mix. Iâ€™d say it was a pretty good and consistent year.â€
With Williams graduating, Nolan has a good chance of becoming a state champion.
â€œIt feels great to represent the school,â€ Nolan said. â€œAlthough we didnâ€™t have any swimmers (here) and it was just me, it still feels good to be able to represent my school.â€
Williams said he was proud of Nolan, whom he credits with raising his game.
â€œHe was one of my first friends when I first started diving club because we look alike and we get along, our humor is the same and our work ethic has always been the same,â€ Williams said. â€œSo just kind of being able to rebound off each other and give each other advice and be great teammates has really been helpful to me over the years. Thatâ€™s something I really value.â€
Here is the link to the full article in the My Suburban Life.com website.