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Foell twists, turns his way to dive records

Chris Foell simply wanted to get a feel for his progression when he went to his most difficult dive package at San Joaquin Delta College last week.

The furthest thing from the Merced Collge freshman's mind was a record-breaking day.

"I was just concentrating on my distance from the board and my entry into the water," the former Los Banos star said. "I wasn't really expecting much.

"They're all dives I practice a lot, so I was comfortable with them. Everything just seemed to click."

From the 1-meter board, Foell set a new Blue Devil record with a six-dive total of 229.45.

Tim Selliciano owned the previous mark of 226 (1991).

MC men's swimming and diving coach Scott McCall said it was only a matter of time before Foell got the record.

"He'd been so close all season and he finally got it," McCall said. "His toughest dive was probably a 2 1/4 forward somersault, but he was just really consistent on all six."

Foell had trouble believing how the day went.

"The dive that surprised me was the inward 1 1/2," Foell said. "When I took off it didn't feel right.

"When I came out of the water and saw sixes, I knew it was going to be a good day.

"When they told me I could break the record before the last dive, all I could think was: 'Don't screw this up.' "

McCall is already calling Foell one of the top five divers in Northern California.

Foell will have a chance to prove he's one of the best in the state when the Cuesta Invitational concludes in San Luis Obispo today.

"It usually has the top teams in Northern and Southern California competing," McCall said. "We'll definitely get a feel for where he's at."

Recruiting Trail

One of Tony Lewis' primary concerns entering the offseason was having only one returning tight end in an offense that loves to use them.

The MC football coach thinks he's found an excellent candidate to fill that hole -- former Golden Valley standout Kyle McMillin.

"I'm definitely coming back," McMillin said. "Things haven't worked out for me in a few places, but I'm only 19 years old. I still want to play football."

McMillin attempted to walk on at the University of Nevada, but left the program when they asked him to become a guard.

Small Ball

MC softball coach Steve Cassady doesn't like to bunt.

"I'm pretty greedy. I don't like to give away outs," Cassady said. "I prefer to try and move runners by stealing bases."

The She-Devils have executed their coach's wishes to near perfection, swiping 43 bases on 45 attempts this season.

Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail atslynch@mercedsun-star.com.

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