Kimmy Vitek one spot away from advancing to diving finals

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Kimmy Vitek knew it took only one poor dive to prevent her from advancing to Saturday’s state finals.

That moment came Friday in the preliminaries at New Trier in Winnetka when Vitek’s front double tuck ended with more of a thud than a splash.

“I held on too long. I took it too far over,” she said.

Vitek believed her first five dives of the preliminaries were solid, but her remaining three didn’t quite work out. The junior from Western Springs had the misfortune of placing 13th with 264.35 points. Only the top 12 competitors advance to Saturday’s finals.

She was hoping to become the first Lyons diver to advance to the state finals since Emily Walter placed ninth in 2004.

Vitek was 12th entering her final dive on Friday but Zion-Benton senior Allegra Codamon leapfrogged the Lions’ junior to gain the final spot for the finals. Vitek finished 3.65 points behind Codamon.

“You have to nail your optionals to get into Saturday and I didn’t do it,” said Vitek, who placed 19th at state in 2012.

Vitek’s junior teammate, Kelly Ryser, scored 155.35 points on Friday to finish 25th. Vitek returned to the state meet Saturday to cheer for a few of her teammates from the Naperville’s DuPage Diving Academy, which trains at Neuqua Valley.

After the state meet, Vitek reached out to a former club teammate who placed 13th in 2012. Connecting through Facebook, Naperville Central grad Molly Schatz cheered up Vitek.

“Molly is now in college (Illinois State). She gave me advice and motivated me,” Vitek said. “There is not much anyone can say or do after I finished 13th.”

Other DuPage Academy divers at state included Naperville Central junior Sophia Heiser (ninth) and Downers Grove North freshman twins Emily (seventh) and Elizabeth Aument (eighth).

Vitek has belonged to DuPage Academy for 1 1/2 years and will begin her new season in the next few weeks.

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