Palmyra's swimming program has made great strides in recent years. But the real up-and-comers might be the team's divers.

Sophomore Bri Urich backed up her Mid-Penn Conference title with a District Three Class AA crown Wednesday in girls' action, while defending district boys' champ Jonas Ricci fought off an illness to place second.

Urich accumulated 292.55 points during her 11 dives Wednesday at the Big Spring High School pool, winning her second championship in a sport she only took up three months ago. Urich led most of the way and ended up with a nearly 22-point victory over Schuylkill Valley's Emily Johns.

"She was up eight points going into the last dive," Palmyra swimming coach Cynthia Lyons recalled. "She was up most of the competition. ... Bri's degree of difficulty for her final dive was higher than the girl from Schuylkill Valley."

As for Ricci, he missed the conference meet with the flu, which again affected the fellow 10th-grader Wednesday. However, he managed a second-place showing at districts with 428.45, which trailed only Trinity's Bradley Buchter, who set a district record with 510.45 points.

"It was a great day," said Cougar diving coach John Ricci, who is also Jonas' father. "We were very forturnate. Bri came through on her last two dives and earned the win. It was a significant win because when the swimming team gets ready for the (district) meet next week, these points will go toward their team total.



Both Urich and Ricci qualified for the PIAA State Championships with their district placements.

At Big Spring H.S.
Final Standings: 1. Bradley Buchter (TRI) 510.45; 2. Jonas Ricci (PAL) 428.45; 3. Ryan Blom (MHS) 387.40; 4. Jake Raudenbush (SV) 258.95; 5. Jesse Valencia (BIS) 234.95; 6. Marc Webster (MHS) 230.60; 7. Dan Laquintano (MHS) 226.35; 8. Joey Writer (NOR) 206.00.

Final Standings: 1. Bri Urich (PAL) 292.55; 2. Emily Johns (SV) 270.70; 3. Amanda Negley (BIS) 242.55; 4. Rachel Kerver (BIS) 192.55; 5. Leah Boyd (BIS) 170.90.