Buchanan High’s Connor Cain saved his best for last.
And the strategy helped produce a boys diving bronze medal from the inaugural CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex.
Cain rallied from seventh to third over his final three dives, finishing with 529.90 points. Crean Lutheran-Irvine’s Colten Young was first with 581.45 points, with Palo Alto’s Reed Merrit second at 554.05.
“I wanted to place at least top five,” said Cain, a three-time section champion headed to Utah. “I didn’t know how it would end up though. There were some amazing, amazing divers out there. I’m definitely proud of myself for finishing third.”
Cain entered seeded eighth at a meet that medaled top six.
He was third after the first round, dropped to seventh after the second, then nailed his final three dives – a back 1.5 pike, a back 1.5 flip with 1.5 twist and a front 1.5 twist – to finish third. He averaged 45.8 points in his first eight dives.
“Those three tend to be my stronger ones,” Cain said. “I score well on them so they are strong dives to end on.”
Cain, who competed at nationals last season, is a three-time Central Section champ headed to dive for Utah next season.
“This morning I was all jitters,” Cain said. “I was so, so nervous. This was more stressful than nationals. I wanted to do really well for my family and coaches who have seen me through this process.”