Three Darien divers place in top-10 at FCIAC championship
STAMFORD -- Westhill-Stamford diving coach Jim Bowser has been working with Sean Burston since Burston was 7 years old and has known almost since the beginning that Burston had the potential to become a champion.
Burston, a sophomore, lived up to his coach's expectations, winning the FCIAC diving championship at the Westhill pool with 440.90 points, holding off a late charge from New Canaan's Bobby Ross who finished with 438.65.
Burston capped an undefeated season, becoming the first diver from Westhill to capture the FCIAC title since 1985 in the process.
"It feels good," Burston said. "We work pretty hard throughout the season and it took building up at the end of the season to pull it out. It means a lot to do this for Westhill, they thanked me, Jim (Bowser) thanked me, so it feels really good."
Burston lead the entire meet but saved his best dives for the semifinal round, when on his first dive he scored 9, 8, 7.5, 7 and 6.5 and on his second dive of the round scored 8, 7, 8, 8, and 7.5 to take a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Not to be deterred, Ross saved his best for last, hitting 8.5, 8, 8, 8, 8 and 7.5 on his second to last dive and 7, 6, 7, 6.5 and 7 on his last dive to pull within a few points of Burston.
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Burston performing so well in the championship had his coach gushing after the meet.
"This was really great, close there at the end going down to the last dive but he had a nice enough lead," Bowser said. "This is what I talked to Sean about as a goal as an 8 and 9 year old so it is a nice thing to accomplish a goal you have been working on for a long time."
The top six finishers were named to the All-County team.
Jackson McGoldrick of Darien was third with 367.20 points, Jeff Aselin of Greenwich was fourth at 348.60, Lee Christensen of Darien was fifth with 342.35 and Robbie Katz of Westhill placed sixth with 335 points.
Aselin, also a sophomore, was content with his fourth-place finish but felt he could have dove better in spots.
"I felt I could have done better on my last two," Aselin said. "We do wear down somewhat at the end of the meet."
Aselin's best dives came in the semifinals with scores of 6, 7, 8, 7 and 6.5 on his first dive and 7.5, 7, 7, 6.5 and 6.5 on his second dive of the round.
McGoldrick locked down third with solid scores on his second dive of the semifinals, hitting scores of 8, 6.5, 6, 7 and 6.5.
Bowser did not feel that Burston was ahead of schedule winning the championship in only his second varsity season after he became the first Westhill diver to be named an All-American as a freshman last season.
"He went undefeated this season so it was just a matter of concentration and consistency," Bowser said. "I thought he had a great shot to win today."
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