Radio earns fourth place
Ethan Radio took gold at the East Penn Conference diving championships recently at Parkland High School and came into the district diving meet as one of the favorites for the top spot.
Radio put together another impressive showing and finished with a final score of 470.65, good enough for a silver medal and a trip to states. The top spot went to defending state champion Brendan McCourt, who set an Emmaus pool record with a score of 562.70.
Radio, who finished third at districts last season, will be making his first trip to states at Bucknell University next month. While he has never made the trip there to compete, he has spoken with teammates who have and has some idea of what to expect.
“I’ve talked to a lot of kids who have been there and so I have an idea what it’s going to be like,” said Radio. “I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous, but I’m really looking forward to it. This was a goal for me coming into the season and it feels great to know that I was able to accomplish that goal.”
Radio was followed by two teammates in the final district standings. Logan Choma, who finished second last season, came in third with a score of 448.45, and Kole Cannon was fourth with a 412.65 final score. Parkland’s Ryan Beltrame finished sixth in the competition with a final score of 229.05.
“I figured one of us was going to go to states, it was just a matter of which one,” said Radio.
Early on, McCourt and Radio were matching each other pretty well dive-for-dive.
After the first two rounds, Radio trailed McCourt by just over three-points. Both divers had relatively easy dives to open the meet and both nailed their second dives with scores of 57.20 for Radio and 56.40 for McCourt. On their third dive, Radio moved ahead when he scored a 45.60 on an inward one-and-a-half summersault, giving him a 135.95 to 133.85 edge over the defending state and district champion.
In round four, McCourt hit on a forward two-and-a-half summersault that netted him a 63.70 score and put him in front of Radio where he was able to stay for the rest of the event.
Radio finished his routine with a reverse one-and-a-half summersault, one-and-a-half twist dive and was nearly flawless, garnering a 54.60 score. Radio’s final dive and his second dive of the meet were the two toughest dives of the day for him and he scored well on both.
“I felt really comfortable with my dives today,” said Radio. “I knew Brendan was going to be tough. He always is.”
Radio is just a sophomore, which means he will have two more shots at district titles and could conceivably finish his high school diving career with three trips to states if all goes well. McCourt, a senior, will be heading off to the University of Texas following states next month.
This will mark the third straight season that Parkland has had a diver compete at states. Choma had second-place finishes in districts in 2018 and 2019 to earn a trip to states. Cannon finished third in districts in 2018.