Tricia Arceri has been working non-stop since last fall’s state championships, diving with her club team and the Huntington High School squad and doing plenty of conditioning on her own. It all paid off when the junior captured fifth place at last week’s New York finals in Ithaca.
Arceri is a perfectionist. She has to be. Even the slightest miscue can cost a diver dearly in the eyes of judges. She just concluded a splendid season that saw her win the Section XI crown with a new county record score and jump nine places at the state meet from a year earlier.
Huntington diving coach Meg McConnell is very pleased with Arceri’s progress on the board. The Blue Devil star enjoyed sensational success in dual meet and invitational competition, before turning in standout performances at the league and county championships. She head to the state finals as confident in her abilities as any diver can be.
“Due to the limited amount of meets available to divers to compete in the 11 dive format, Tricia entered the meet ranked No. 1 in the state, but very few of the qualifiers had ever met head to head so looking at the in season meets was more helpful in getting a sense of how the divers might perform,” McConnell explained. “There was no doubt in my mind that Tricia should make top six in the state.”
It was Arceri’s goal to reach the medal platform last Friday night in Ithaca and she worked hard to earn her spot. “In organizing her [dive] list there were a few thoughts to consider, including having the prelims be solid with required dives that were of a higher degree of difficulty, put her least favorite reverse 1½ in the semi round and wrap the meet up with her favorite optional; the inward 1½. Other than that it was all about enjoying the meet and just focusing.”
Never one to be underestimated, Arceri methodically climbed higher in the standings until she finished fifth in a field of the top 43 high school divers in New York.
“True to form, Tricia did a great job of working through her list, knocking out the first five dives handily and finishing the prelims landing in 10th place,” McConnell said. “After half the divers were cut she entered the semis knowing the least favorite five was coming, but after the three dives were done, she had jumped to 6th place. As she went into the finals she knew top six was achievable and hit her three dives well moving up to fifth in the state and feeling great.”
Arceri’s new goal is to reach the top of the medal platform as a senior next fall. Considering her work ethic, it’s attainable.