Centennial's Skelton on brink of state title

Centennial's Skelton on brink of state title

WINNETKA – Three dives away from his first state championship, Kegan Skelton isn't feeling much pressure.

"It'd be nice to win a state title, but that's not everything. It's just a meet," Skelton said after a near-flawless Day 1 at the IHSA state meet at New Trier High. "All I have to do is go out and hit my last three dives and I'll be happy and I'll be proud. That's the plan."

Skelton (353.75) takes a considerable lead on Loyola Academy's Michael Manhard (333.60) and Wheaton North's George Doran (324.20) into today's finals. The Centennial senior is attempting to become the first area boy to win a state diving title since Chris Schehlein (2003).

"We're sitting pretty good; we're at a place where we want to be," Centennial coach Don Waybright said. "He's peaking right now. All he has to do is hang on for one more day, but that's not easy."

Skelton was finished by noon Friday. After lunch with his coach, he returned to the pool to cheer on his state-bound teammates. He vowed to rest easy Friday night.

"I controlled my nerves today, and that helped out a lot," he said. "I'm going to do the same thing tomorrow: breathe deep and think about what I need to do before each dive. I know I can do it. I just have to prove it."