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Darton's Berry wins school's first national title in diving

With the Flickinger Center pool in Buffalo, N.Y., in the backdrop, an elated Crawford Berry of Darton College proud displays his — and the program’s — first national championship gold in diving. (Will Breehl/Darton State College)

With the Flickinger Center pool in Buffalo, N.Y., in the backdrop, an elated Crawford Berry of Darton College proud displays his — and the program’s — first national championship gold in diving. (Will Breehl/Darton State College)

Buffalo, N.Y. — Darton State College diver Crawford Berry made history Thursday afternoon, becoming the first Cavalier diver to win an NJCAA National Championship.

Berry, a freshman from Alpharetta, scored 515 points to win the 3-meter dive competition by a heavy margin at the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Buffalo, NY.

“I’ve been training hard since August,” he said. “I just had my mind set on this. I was very nervous (Thursday), but I took it one dive at a time, and it paid off.”

That it did.

“He did what he came here to do,” Darton head diving coach Drew Aultman said. “I was really thrilled for him. No one has ever done this — I don’t think we’ve ever had a silver, either.”

That changed Thursday as well when Lady Cavalier Kelsey Carniglia took second in the women’s 1-meter championship.

Sarah Hoop, who dives and swims for Darton, finished fourth in the 1-meter competition.

All divers will enter prelims today and then compete again Saturday in the other diving events.

The men’s division will do 1-meter diving; women will do 3-meter diving.

“I’ll be really surprised if Crawford doesn’t win the 1-meter too,” Aultman said. “I’m looking at another gold on Saturday — maybe two, Kelsey or Sarah could do it.”

The Darton swimming teams have also performed well.

The Lady Cavaliers won a silver medal in the 800 free relay (Anna Macht, Sandrea Guerrerro, Anna Barnes and Emily Mitchell) with a school-record time of 7:46.99.

“That is almost 13 seconds faster than the previous school record,” Darton head women’s swimming coach Molly Gilbert said. “And Anna Macht led off the relay with a school-record time of 1:53.57.”

The Lady Cavs also won a bronze medal in the 400 medley relay (Mitchell, Gail Calhoon, Guerrero, Macht) with a time of 3:58.08.

Darton’s men’s team won third in the 400 medley relay (Gabe Downey, TJ Bland, Kyle Batson and Matthew Jones) and fourth in the 800 free (Batson, Downey, JD Rousseau and Bland).

LATE THURSDAY’S RESULTS: In Thursday evening’s session, Darton took home third in the 200 free relay, which was swam by Mitchell, Hoop, Macht and Guerrero in a time of 1:43.86.

Macht also won second in the 200 IM, finishing a second out of first place with a time of 2:04.91.

The Lady Cavs are currently in second place in the team competition, while the Darton men are in third place with two days of events remaining.