'A great place to be': Glenbrook South senior takes second at state dive meet
While no competitive athlete seeks to place second, that position did meet a season-long goal for Glenbrook South's Jacki Stadler.
At the Illinois High School Association girls state swimming and diving championships in Westmont, the Titans senior diver finished as runner-up to Cary-Grove junior Maggie Bendell, and ahead of third-place diver Que Genet, a sophomore from Fremd.
The top three divers all held their positions from the semifinals on Nov. 11 to the finals on Nov. 12. Bendell finished with a cumulative score of 462.50 followed by Stadler (450.80) and Genet (444.50).
"I think second place is a hard one to take. My goal going into the season was to do better than the year before, so I met that goal," Stadler said.
"It's a great place to be considering it's the whole state, so I'm happy for second."
Stadler, who will dive and look to study political science at Providence College in Rhode Island, finished fourth at the state meet as a junior.
As a freshman, she was 16th. As a sophomore in 2020 when the IHSA canceled the state meet due to COVID-19, based on videos of her dives and sectional results Stadler was awarded fifth place by the Illinois Swimming & Diving Association, which named the Glenbrook South boys the state champions in 2021.
Last weekend at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont, Stadler aced the last of her 8 dives on Friday to stick within 9 points of Bendell.
"It's a forward two-and-a-half somersault in pike position," Stadler said. "It's a harder dive that not many people do, but I did it really well that day, so that's probably what I was most proud of."
As a finalist, her last three dives on Saturday were a backward one-and-a-half somersault, an inward dive, and an inward 2-somersault.
Stadler was a gymnast, and soccer player, until reaching Glenbrook South. She still plays soccer -- she plans to play on defense again this spring -- but started diving for the Titans and dive coach Laura Duffy as a freshman.
She participates with the Glenview Aquatics club out of Glenbrook North, which starts up again in two weeks, Stadler said.
She'll have momentum.
"Overall, I guess it was a really great experience, especially since it was my last high school competition with my coach who I've had all four years," said Stadler, who lives near Flick Park.
"I'm just really happy with how the past four years have gone, and I thought it was a great way to end my high school career."