Diving Invitational a rousing success

The Oxford boys’ swim and dive program hosted the Third Annual Wildcat Diving Invitational on Jan. 25.
Featuring a total of 55 competitors, this was the largest turnout the event has received in its brief history. Of these 55 divers, 33 took part in the 11-dive event, while the remaining 22 participated in the six-dive event. To help the competition conclude in a timely manner, both the 11 and six-dive events took place simultaneously.
Senior Evan Covert and freshman Keegan Fox were Oxford’s top performers on the day. Covert finished 15th in the 11-dive event, and Fox, one of the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) Red’s more promising divers in the 2023 class, took home 14th-place in the six-dive event.
Justin Burke, a junior for the Warren De La Salle Pilots, was the champion of the six-dive event. The 11-dive side was won by Birmingham Seaholm Maples sophomore Kameron Liberman, who established a new pool record score of 489.25.
Seaholm also captured first-place in the team standings.

Swimmers battle OAA Red’s top program

The first road action for the team since Jan. 9, the Wildcats traveled to Seaholm to square off with the Maples on Jan. 30. Entering the night at 3-0, Seaholm was the lone unbeaten team in the division.
This fact was extended for at least another week as the Maples were able to race past Oxford, 130-56.
Despite what the scoreboard says, the Wildcats delivered several performances to build upon. Junior Ben Datsko improved his own school record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.9, fellow junior Cole Bukoski and sophomore Owen Avey also posted season-best times in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, respectively.
The coolest moment of the evening, however, was the return of sophomore Nathaniel Johnston. Sustaining what doctors initially feared would be a career-ending back injury in May 2019, Johnston was cleared to resume light activities in mid-Jan. following an eight-month rehabilitation process.
“The physical therapists and physicians were pleased with his progress, and cleared him (Nathaniel) to race,” head coach Jackie Rank shared.
“He is limited to swimming freestyle events at the moment and must start from in the water, but we couldn’t be happier to see his smile again!”
Oxford returned home to clash with the Rochester Adams Highlanders and Notre Dame Prep Fighting Irish on Feb. 4. Results were unavailable at press time but will be covered in the Feb. 12 edition of The Leader.
The Oakland County Swim and Dive Championships will also take place on Feb. 7-8 at Waterford Kettering High School. Beginning with the diving portion at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7, Covert will be the Wildcats’ only representative.

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