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Petke is state champ

Bethlehem Catholic senior Anna Petke became the first PIAA Class 2A state diving champion in school history when she clinched a first-place gold medal on March 15 at Bucknell University.

“I was shocked,” said Petke, whose goal for the six-dive meet was to finish in the top five, based on her average meet score during the regular season. “It was great to be on the top with other Pennsylvania divers, getting to talk with them. They’re really sweet girls and great divers.”

Petke’s best dive at states was her inward one-and-a-half tuck that scored 50 points.

“I was very nervous, but also so excited, and I was very prepared,” she said. “I practiced every single day for the past two weeks.”

Petke’s other dives were a back dive pike, front double tuck, reverse dive pike, front full one-and-a-half, and back twisting one-and-a-half, which scored 42 points.

“It was very exciting,” said diving coach Emily Kocis. “Anna took the lead after the second dive, added to her lead after the third, and carried the lead, but it started to get smaller. It came down to the last dive.

“Anna had the biggest smile getting out of the pool. She knew she had won, but she was very sportsmanlike, knowing there were still four divers to go.”

Petke’s overall score was 242.50.

The second place score was 235.70, earned by Maggie Foley from District 7’s North Catholic in Western Pennsylvania.

Eight medals were awarded in all.

Since Bethlehem Catholic doesn’t have a diving team, most of Petke’s fellow students were unaware of her accomplishments.

“Going to school and seeing people’s faces, and hearing them say congratulations, I’m super proud, and I could not have done it without Emily and Keller,” she said.

Keller Pooley is a Liberty diver who formed a strong friendship with Petke over the past two seasons while Petke was diving with the Hurricanes.

“My mindset was to have fun at my last meet,” said Petke. “I’m still very excited.”

Contributed photos Left to right is Keller Pooley from Liberty, Emily Kocis diving coach, and Anna Petke from Bethlehem Catholic. Pooley took fifth at state while Petke won gold.
Anna Petke stands at the top of the podium after winning state gold in diving this past weekend.