Seymour diver aims for solid showing at state


When it comes to competing in the boys swimming and diving state finals, Devin Ramsey said experience is huge.

The Seymour High School junior will make his second straight appearance in that meet, set for tonight and Saturday at the Indiana University Natatorium on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

Ramsey will be among the 32 diving competitors.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I’m ready to go to state.”

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The swimming preliminaries start at 6 p.m. today, and the top 16 in each event will return to the pool Saturday. The top eight will compete for state championship honors, while those finishing nine through 16 will swim in consolation heats.

The first round of diving begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. After five dives each, the top 20 will move on to the semifinals. After another three dives, the top 16 will advance to the finals for three more dives.

The swimming and diving finals start at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last year, Ramsey finished 13th at state after being a sectional and regional champion.

He repeated as Floyd Central Sectional champion Saturday, setting the school, sectional and pool records with 533.15 points.

That qualified him for Tuesday night’s Bloomington North Regional, where he finished second with a score of 415.05. Gauge Creech of Franklin was first with a score of 436.55.

“That was probably one of my worst 11-dive meets this year, but we have to come back from that and recover at IUPUI, but we still managed to pull it off,” Ramsey said. “There was a reverse two and a half that I didn’t do well on, but it gave me 40 points because the degree of difficulty is a 3.0. The highest degree of difficulty is a 3.2 or a 3.3.”

Seymour diving coach Tara Sutherland said the regional has a different set of judges.

“So the judging is going to be different, and you’re at a different level now,” she said. “I think the scoring was a little tougher, but I also think that everyone showed up and just didn’t perform any fantastic, wow-factor dives.”

Still, Sutherland said Ramsey was consistent at regional.

“There wasn’t really an off dive,” she said. “(Creech) scored higher than him on one dive that was a game-changer for us. One dive was 20 points, and that’s what put us in second place. (Creech) dives competitively all year-round and is a club diver, and that is a very elite group of kids that do that. We only dive during season, so if we can hold our own to the kids that are diving all year, I’m good with that.”

Divers execute six dives in dual meets throughout the season and 11 dives in the big meets, like conference and the state tournament. The Indiana High School Athletic Association changes the dives week to week during the season with some required dives and some optional dives.

Ramsey said he knows which 11 dives the contestants will be required to do Saturday and what order they will do them in, and he practiced those dives Wednesday and Thursday and will spend extra time with those that he and Sutherland feel need extra work.

“I need to work on my reverse two and a half and some of my easier dives that I fell over on a little bit (Tuesday),” he said. “Some of them, you want to go high. Some of them, you need that height and some speed.”

Goal-wise for state, Sutherland said the focus isn’t on placement, an award or a title.

“He is only a junior, so right now, we’re just focusing on the consistency of his dives,” she said. “Dave (Boggs, head coach) and I have stressed that all year. Success isn’t always about the greatness. It’s about the consistency, and consistent hard work leads to success, and greatness will come from that. So with that being said, we’ve really focused on consistency all year because ‘You’re a junior. You have another year.’’’

Sutherland also noted experience being a big factor at the state finals.

“We all know when you walk into the natatorium, it can be overwhelming, and especially as a younger competitor,” she said. “Last year was his first year to compete at that level and getting his feet wet and getting a feel for everything there — the atmosphere, the boards, all of the stress, the pressure.

“Now, we’re going to try again. We’re going to see what happens,” she said. “If I had to put a number on it, it would be nice to be in the top eight. Again, we’re not focusing on a number, just a personal best and being consistent. If that means we have to wait until his senior year before we score high and place on the podium, then so be it.”

Ramsey said his goal is to make it to the podium to receive an award.

“I didn’t make it last year. The top eight get on the podium,” he said.

While the divers are tired and ready for rest at this point, Sutherland said she thinks they will all be back Saturday with their “game face” and ready to give it their best.

“It has been a long week,” she said. “(Ramsey) was sick during sectional. He’s trying to overcome that and bounce back. We’re not 100 percent yet, but we’re certainly hoping Saturday will be 100 percent.

“He’s an exceptional kid,” she said. “He puts forth all of the effort and the hard work day in and day out. One thing that Dave and I have said that is pretty important is that every day, we show up with determination and leave with satisfaction, and Devin gives it every day whether he is sick or not.”

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What: 81st annual Indiana High School Athletic Association boys swimming and diving state finals

When: Today (swimming preliminaries at 6 p.m.) and Saturday (diving preliminaries and semifinals at 9 a.m. and swimming and diving consolations and finals for all events at 1 p.m.)

Where: Indiana University Natatorium at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 901 W. New York St., Indianapolis

Who: Seymour High School junior Devin Ramsey is among the 32 diving state finalists

Admission: Unreserved tickets are $8 per session or $15 both days; a limited number of $18 reserved season tickets may be purchased online via the IHSAA e-commerce site at; reserved seating for a single session will not be available; reserved tickets will not be sold over the phone or in person at the IHSAA office

Webstream: Saturday’s championship and consolation finals will be streamed live at beginning at 1 p.m.

Advancement: The top 16 in each swimming event during today’s preliminaries will return for competition Saturday with the top eight individuals vying for state championship honors; those finishing nine through 16 today will make up the competitors in the consolation heats; all diving will be Saturday with the top 20 of 32 competitors advancing from the preliminaries to the semifinals after five dives each; after three dives each in the semifinals, the top 16 will advance to the final round for another three dives each


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