Lucy Hogan and Andrea Gouvea did more than just advance to the final round against some of the elite divers in the state of Illinois Saturday at the Burton Aquatic Center.
The two Evanston standouts also passed a character test of sorts, and that ability to deal with adversity may serve the two Wildkits better than any individual dive or score could when the pressure of postseason competition arrives in three weeks on the calendar.
Hogan, a freshman, earned a third place finish at the Evanston Invitational meet in a field of 43 divers and Gouvea placed a solid 13th for the hosts. Hogan scored the highest finish for a Wildkit diver in the 10-year history of the invite, climbing from 5th place to 4th place to 3rd in the final round with a score of 427.60 points for 11 dives.
Gouvea added a more than respectable total of 335.70 points in a field where Naperville Central’s Sydney Dusel (447.60) and New Trier’s Jessie Creed (438.10) placed 1-2. Naperville, New Trier and ETHS claimed the team plaques when the performances of two divers per school were combined to determine the team standings.
Hogan has already broken ETHS school freshmen records for 6 dives and 11 dives and is taking aim at the varsity and pool 11-dive records. She’s only 10 points short of the school mark owned by Evanston Hall of Famer Lona Foss (498.35) and could also challenge the pool record of 507.55 by Deerfield’s Christina Loukas by the time she’s finished with her first season of high school competition.
Saturday, one of her dives drew a score of 9 from an impressed judge and five of her 11 dives featured scores in the 40s.
“I’m really, really proud of how they both performed in an upper level meet like this,” said ETHS diving coach Aaron Melnick. “Lucy was able to stay composed even when she missed a couple of dives early, and she was able to finish extremely strong. She just kept going, and she knew she had to hit the rest of her dives to catch some other people. She did very well with a couple of minor mistakes in the first round, and she held it together.
“Even though she’s a freshman, Lucy doesn’t freak out when she makes a mistake. She already has enough experience to be able to overcome it and move on. I thought her inward pike dive was outstanding today and she’s really confident with those hit or miss dives like that.”
“And Andrea has come such a long, long way when it comes to her ability to be able to focus and stay on her dives. Her first round was not perfect, but she was able to overcome it, and she’s shown such tremendous growth. Starting with her freshman year, if she had one bad dive in the past, the meet was over for her. I was really encouraged by what she did today.”
Both Wildkits moved up in the overall standings in the final round and both Hogan and Gouvea are potential state qualifiers, according to their coach.
“We’re still working on Lucy’s state list and it might change from the conference meet to the sectional,” Melnick pointed out. “Working with her is great because she really knows what to do out there already. I don’t want to over-coach her at this point, just encourage her to do a little better each time. She doesn’t have a lot of things she needs to fix.”
Source: ETHS Sports Information