Wilson’s Safaya Elkhyati Wins District 3 Women’s Class 3A Diving Title
Feb. 27 – Wilson’s Safaya Elkhyati was nervous at the start of Saturday’s District 3 Class 3A Diving Championships in Gov. Mifflin Intermediate and far from satisfied with her first dives.
“My coach (Kathy Good) told me something,” Elkhyati said. “She said, ‘We’re going to start over. It’s a whole new competition. We are going to start this fourth dive again. And I did a lot better from there and felt a lot better about it. Overall, I’m really happy to have improved a lot since my first two dives.
After this conversation, Elkhyati, a senior, managed to overcome her nerves and the competition to win the championship with a total of 11 dives of 361.65 points. Sophia Breschi of Red Lion was second at 352.70 and Corrine Ames of Red Land third at 327.75.
“It means so much,” Elkhyati said. “It’s really cool. It’s kind of cool to be, ‘Oh, I’m a district champion.’
“Overall it was a competition where I just had to focus and not worry about anybody else, just how I’m doing, and I think that mindset helped me. to win.”
Elkhyati, who won her third Central Penn League title earlier this month, was able to step onto the district podium after finishing second a year ago. She was fifth in the second year and 11th in the first year.
“I’ve worked really hard and I really love the sport and I think it really shows,” Elkhyati said.
Wilson’s Madalyn Wilczynski finished fourth with 318.80 points and also qualified for the PIAA Championships on March 17 at Bucknell University.
In the boys’ meet, Governor Mifflin’s Carter Sweigart, senior and CPL champion, finished second at 419.65 behind Northeastern’s Stephen Barlett, who won his third straight title with 453.75.
Governor Mifflin’s Alex Wodehouse, fourth, 371.95; and Jackson Williams of Wilson, fifth, 318.55.
The boys will compete at Bucknell University States on March 16.
Elkhyati, who finished 15th in the United States as a sophomore, is eager to return. She did not qualify for last year’s pandemic-altered encounter, which took only district champions.
“I’m really excited,” she said.