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Wesleyan's Hall wins fourth state dive title

Photo: Brian Morgan Wesleyan's Lauren Hall dives during the Class A-AAAA state diving championships on Saturday at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Hall won her fourth state diving title.

Photo: Brian Morgan Wesleyan's Lauren Hall dives during the Class A-AAAA state diving championships on Saturday at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Hall won her fourth state diving title.

ATLANTA -- For someone who thought possibly about giving up the sport of diving during her freshman year at Wesleyan, Lauren Hall sure found a great reason to stick around.

Make that four reasons.

Shattering her own state record in the one-meter diving competition, Hall captured a fourth straight Class A-AAAA girls title at the 2012 Georgia High School Association swimming and diving championships Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Hall won with a score of 537.65, which was 38.20 points ahead of runner-up Andrea Demick of Marist with 499.45.

Marist also had the third-place finisher in Taylor Gould with a score of 430.40.

Hall's 537.45 total was 2.85 points better than her previous record-setting score of 534.80 that she set at the 2011 championships.

"This means everything," said Hall of her fourth consecutive GHSA title. "In my freshman year, I started to get burned out on diving. But I had watched (former Wesleyan and UGA diver) Webb Worthington when I was growing up and saw him win state all four years (2002-05). So it was kind of like my first goal I ever really set for myself was to win state. This goal just set my passion for diving."

Hall, who will head to the University of Hawaii this fall on a diving scholarship, had just one dive scored lower than 40.00 (39.95) and never trailed in the 11 rounds of competition.

And while Hawaii may seem like a long way from home, Hall sees it as a great opportunity to learn from long-time diving coach Mike Brown.

"I was recruited by (coach) Mike Brown to come to Hawaii and it will be a great opportunity to learn from someone who has coached Olympians," Hall said. "He also coached at the University of Texas before that and had NCAA champions down there. So I can't think of a better opportunity than to go to Hawaii and be coached by someone like him."

So with a stellar career at Wesleyan coming to a grand ending, there are plenty of folks that Hall will miss.

"This has been an incredible experience at Wesleyan and I get emotional when I think about it," Hall said. "I couldn't have gotten to this point without Wesleyan and everyone who supported me. It has been amazing and it is why I've done so well.

"I woke up at 5 this morning and I had all these text messages wishing me good luck, so I decided it was going to be a good day."

Wesleyan head coach Kevin Kadzis has also watched Hall make this journey and will miss the state's four-time champion.

"She is a great diver and she has performed so well at Wesleyan," Kadzis said. "But she is a better person than she is a diver, if you know what I mean. It has been a great experience to have her here."

Wesleyan also got a 12th-place finish out of Alexandra Hernandez with a score of 318.50.

Carolina Cannon was the third Wesleyan diver to also make the finals and she came in 16th place with a 292.50 score.

Wesleyan's Lindsay Panther made it into the semifinal round of 20 divers, but did not advance into the final round of 16.