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Sagl wins diving title

Nicole Sagl not only competed in the District 11 Diving Championships last year, she won gold for Class 2A. Even so, the Central Catholic student who lives in the Northwestern School District was tense coming into this year's meet.

She was able to overcome it and put together an 11-dive program good enough to repeat as the district champion.

Sagl finished with a score of 396.5, well ahead of second-place finisher Emily Marshall of Southern Lehigh, who scored a 307.0. Both Nagl and Marshall earned trips to the PIAA Championships, which begin March 13 at Bucknell University.

"I felt confident, but I was a little nervous," she said. "Once I got my reverse one and a half over with, I was okay."

That dive turned out to be the low point of Nagl's day, but the rest of her program made up for any shortcomings.

"My back-twisters were really good and I sank them, so I was really happy about that," said Nagl.

Sagl's win in districts came after an impressive first-place finish in the Lehigh Valley Conference Championships a week earlier where she finished ahead of Parkland's Amanda Zerphy, who took the girls title in Class 3A district diving.

Sagl admitted that her scores weren't what she had hoped coming in, but she turned in a solid all-around performance. The victory sends her to the PIAA meet for the second straight year, and Sagl believes she'll be in the running to medal. Last season, as a freshman, Sagl turned in a score of 273.35 at states and finished fifth.

"I'm hoping for a top three finish, that's my goal for this year," said Sagl. "I know that I'm going to be a little nervous, but once I get there and start diving, I'll be able to put that behind me and I should be okay."