Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mars Girl Dives in, Wins a Wpial Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mars Girl Dives in, Wins a Wpial Title

Article excerpt

Taylor Hockenberry had competed in gymnastics, played soccer and run cross country growing up.

As high school neared she decided to give diving a try.

"It wasn't natural for me right away," Hockenberry said. "When I first started diving, I wasn't really into that sport. I didn't really care for it at first."

Two years later and Hockenberry has much different feelings.

"Now, I really love the sport of diving," Hockenberry said. "It was at the point when I started making goals for myself in diving that I really started to love the sport."

In the span of five days in mid-February, Hockenberry won meets and broke records of two of the WPIAL's biggest stages.

On Feb. 13 Hockenberry won the diving competition at the Midwestern Athletic Conference swimming and diving championships at Moon Area. She scored 493.25 to edge Riverside's Brittany Hart who scored a 488.65. Hockenberry broke the pool record and also broke the MAC meet record of 485.75 set in 2002 by Montour's Cassidy Krug, one of the all-time best WPIAL divers and the daughter of Julian and Doe Krug, diving coaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Pitt Aquatics Club where Hockenberry trains year-round.

Five days later at the WPIAL Class AA diving championships last week, Hockenberry won again and broke a record again. A year after winning a silver medal, Hockenberry captured a WPIAL title and broke an even older record. Her 11 dive score of 506.05 was enough to out-distance Hart once again who finished with a score of 460.60. She also broke the previous WPIAL record of 505.45 set in 1998 by Shady Side Academy's Brittany Garza.

"She was phenomenal," Mars diving coach Maria Misenhelter said. "She dove the best she has ever dove. She broke the WPIAL record, it was not even something we went into thinking about."

The WPIAL record came into focus as Hockenberry prepared for her final dive. …

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