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MC diver breaks 3-meter dive record

Katy Copenhagen wasn't really surprised.

The Merced College freshman diver had flirted with a piece of immortality all season, just missing out on the Blue Devils' 3-meter six-dive record a number of times.

So Copenhagen believed she'd surpass the mark eventually.

The timing of her record-breaking performance, however, probably couldn't have been more perfect.

Copenhagen's six-dive total of 220.95 at a dual meet last week etched her name into the MC record books. Katie Almeida held the previous mark of 220.35, set in 1994.

The record has Copenhagen's confidence at an all-time high heading into today's Tri Conference Diving Championship where she'll attempt to qualify for state.

"I'd been within two or three points of the record all year, so I'd been thinking I just needed a little extra push to get it," Copenhagen said. "I've only gone up against two or three divers who were better than or as good as me all year, so I think my chances of making state are good."

In order to do that, Copenhagen will need to finish in the top six against the best divers in Northern California.

She'll also be looking to give MC a leg up in next week's Bay Valley Conference Championships.

The order the BVC divers finish at the TCDC, will correlate into points towards the conference title. So if Copenhagen finishes third at the diving championships -- but is the top finsher amongst BVC divers -- she'll earn MC first-place points.

"Diving is our strength this year, so we're hoping to see a strong showing (today)," Blue Devils women's coach Bill Halpin said.

The MC men are hoping to qualify two divers for state.

Sophomore Kris Holmquist went to state a year ago, while Chris Foell set MC's six-dive record from the 1-meter board this season.

Moving On

Things are starting to pick up for the Merced College football team's departing sophomores.

A couple weeks after quarterback Reid Herchenbach was offered a possible starting job at I-AA Alabama State, six more Blue Devils have been offered scholarships by four year schools.

Tight end Cameron Graham (University of Arkansas Menticell), offensive lineman Cornelius Dixon (Albany State), defensive lineman Phillip Robinson (Lambuth University), line backer Gary Stephens (Hastings College), and defensive backs Wayne Williams and Dominique Davis (both Bethel College) will all be continuing their football careers.

Home Cooking

MC softball coach Steve Cassady said his team hit the magic number with its 6-5 win over Fresno City on Tuesday.

According to Cassady, the She-Devils' 30th victory could likely be enough to give the team a home game in the first round of the NorCal playoffs.

MC (31-15) only solidified Cassady's belief with the Central Valley Conference title it secured on Thursday.

The She-Devils are ranked 12th in the state and rank No. 7 among Northern California teams.

The top eight seeds will open the playoffs at home.

Strength of schedule should give MC an added bonus when seed are handed out.

The She-Devils have played 13 games against teams ranked in the state's current top 20, going 6-7 in those contests.

MC has three additional victories over teams there were ranked in the top 20 at one point in the season.

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

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