Central York’s Gabe Patil performs his third dive during Thursday’s YAIAA diving championship at the Central York Aquatic Center. Patil won the
Central York's Gabe Patil performs his third dive during Thursday's YAIAA diving championship at the Central York Aquatic Center. Patil won the boys' meet and qualified for districts. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)

One claimed he didn't dive his best, while the other was very pleased with her performance during Thursday's YAIAA diving championships.

But in the end, Gabe Patil of Central York and Dallastown's Elizabeth Rothrock earned their respective boys' and girls' titles.

In his home pool, Patil posted 259.90 points to win the boys' competition, while Rothrock's score of 388.50 was tops in the girls' meet -- although neither win came easy.

Patil actually fell to fourth place after the preliminary round closed with a rough fifth dive. He made up for it on his next effort, getting back into first place, setting up a battle with Ben Staub of Dallastown.

"It was more pressure on myself than pressure to do better than anybody else," Patil said. "I didn't dive as well as I wanted to today. I still won, which is nice, but I need to dive a lot better at districts next week."

Staub cut Patil's lead to 1.55 points heading to the final round of three dives. Patil held his own against Staub, plus kept Panther teammate Josh Meisenhelter at bay -- despite not being at his best.

"Winning is nice, but that is not what I was thinking about. I was thinking dive-to-dive," Patil said. "Ben always pushes me, he's a great diver. I sort of felt the heat, but I wanted to do my best regardless."

Meisenhelter passed Staub on the 10th dive and took second place with 251.30 points. Staub won a bronze medal with 247.60. All three will participate in the District 3 Class AAA championships Feb. 23 at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School.

"I was surprised," Meisenhelter said of his performance. "It feels really good. I can't wait to compete again next week."

"I am really glad he made it this year," Patil said of Meisenhelter. "I am really proud of him. He's gotten a lot better this year."

Like Patil, Rothrock knew where much of her competition would come from, namely Dover senior Morgan Stambaugh.

Rothrock took a slim lead after the first dive and managed to expand upon it just enough to hold off Stambaugh through the latter stages of the meet.

"It's pretty awesome. This is the first time I have done this well," Rothrock said. "Coming into it, I was pretty nervous because we had a tough race the entire year. She came to our pool and beat me by five points, and I knew I wanted to come back in the tough competition with her."

Stambaugh got within 10.2 points after eight dives, but Rothrock wasn't about to relinquish the lead and averaged 35.28 points over her final three dives.

"My second-to-last dive, the two and a half, I needed a good hurdle and didn't get it. I am still really proud of myself. I am glad to be diving," said Stambaugh, who missed the 2012 YAIAA championships because of a shoulder injury she suffered while diving.

Stambaugh had 376.60 points. Eagles teammate Taylor Bahoric will make her second straight appearance at districts after finishing third with 306.55.

"I've been to districts every year. It's a lot more nerve-wracking because it's your last chance to make a splash," Rothrock said of this season. "But at the same time, it's really good because you have been with those people for so long. You think it's your last time, so you go as hard as you can and do your best."

Defending league champion Becca Gross of Northeastern missed Thursday's competition with a broken foot but expects to be back for the District 3 meet.

Northeastern's Joseph Writer scored 203.25 points and finished sixth. He was the only Class AA participant and will move on the district AA meet, which is Wednesday at Big Spring High School.
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YAIAA Diving championships
at Central York
   1. Gabe Patil, Central York, 259.90; 2. Josh Meisenhelter, Central York, 251.30; 3. Ben Staub, Dallastown, 247.60; 4. Andrew Feeser, South Western, 236.85; 5. Tyler Beckman, Spring Grove, 207.65; 6. Joseph Writer, Northeastern, 203.23; 7. Hunter Smith, Spring Grove, 191.15.
   1. Elizabeth Rothrock, Dallastown, 388.50; 2. Morgan Stambaugh, Dover, 376.60; 3. Taylor Bahoric, Dover, 306.55; 4. Courtney Seitzinger, Central York, 296.65; 5. Maison Hammen, South Western, 286.35; 6. Gabrielle Heilman, South Western, 269.65; 7. Olivia Thornton, Northeastern, 261.80; 8. Braelen Kraelowetz, Central York, 260.95; 9. Lindsey Pope, Northeastern, 240.65.

Dallastown’s Benjamin Staub came in second in Thursday’s YAIAA diving championship at the Central York Aquatic Center.
Dallastown's Benjamin Staub came in second in Thursday's YAIAA diving championship at the Central York Aquatic Center. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)