Valley College’s Anahit Cholokyan finishes in second place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards in the diving state championship.
By Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor
Qualifying for the CCCAA State Swim/Dive Championships after eeking out first place on the 1-meter board at the Southern California championships, Valley College diver Anahit Cholakyan claimed second in both events at the state championships Thursday and Friday.
Cholakyan took to the diving boards on May 5 and 6 as the Monarchs’ sole competitor for the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, with seventeen divers from 12 colleges competing at East Los Angeles College. The first-year student athlete was one of three who broke 200 points in at least one event. Claiming second place on both boards, Valley’s diver took home two silver medals for her efforts. Competing on the 1-meter board Thursday and the 3-meter board Friday, Cholakyan finished second in both events, coming close to victory on day two. Riverside City College’s Lorelai Carney — the diver Cholakyan barely edged out in the 1-meter leg of the Southern California championships the meet before — finished first.
“It feels okay,” said Cholakyan about her performance. “I’m just mad because I was so close and I messed up my last dive a little. If I didn’t, I would have won.”
Carney swiftly took gold on Thursday, coming away with a 16.15 point victory over Cholakyan on day one of the meet — scoring 46.2 points on her first dive and never looking back. Cholakyan was scored at 197.80, while Carney earned 213.95 and was the only diver to crack a score of over 200 on the 1-meter board.
The race for the top three was much tighter on day two, with first and third place separated by just 7.05 points. Similarly to the Southern California championships, the battle between Cholakyan and Carney came down to the final dive.
American River College’s Jadyn Reeves finished with 201.95 points, while Cholakyan earned 205.30 and Carney took first with 209.00.
“I just messed up the takeoff, which messed up the dive,” said Cholakyan about her final dive on the 3-meter board.
Cholakyan kept up her consistency throughout the competition, scoring a high of 38.4 points on her sixth and final dive — a back 1 ½ somersault one twist free. But Carney earned 37.2 points on her concluding dive of three-meter, allowing her to stay ahead of Cholakyan and finish the night in first place.
After diving for four years before college, Cholakyan returned to the sport for the excitement and is content with the outcome.
“It is what it is,” said the first year student. “I could have done better but I honestly started diving at Valley for fun and because I missed the sport.”
The accounting major claimed two silver medals after battling all season, but she was disappointed with herself for not earning gold and falling short on the 3-meter board. Cholakyan says the sport taught her to fight to the finish and keep pushing until the end.
Initially not planning to dive for a second year at Valley, Cholakyan feels like there is unfinished business as the second-place clincher on both boards.
“At first I didn’t want to continue next season, but now I am thinking about it,” said the silver medalist.