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MacArthur, Carswell repeat
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MODESTO-- For the second year in a row, Ceres High has two league champions.

Bailey MacArthur and James Carswell placed first at the Modesto Metro Conference Diving Championship on Thursday at Johansen High School.

"I'm the luckiest coach in the world," said Ceres coach Glen Simonds. "I have two kids with amazing ability. They practice hard and push themselves. You do that, you're going to get better."

MacArthur, a sophomore, and Carswell, a senior, both won by a landslide.

MacArthur placed first in a field of 11 with a score of 353.05 in the varsity girls competition. She finished ahead of Johansen's Ali Stuyt (295) and Leslie Niel (287.90).

"I was expecting to win," MacArthur said. "But I wasn't expecting to do as good as I did. I improved so much."

MacArthur dedicated her performance to a classmate and friend that died in a car accident in December.

"I was diving for Jannet Valencia," she said.

MacArthur managed to win even though she missed three weeks of practice. She took a spill in her garage during Spring Break. MacArthur slipped on wet concrete and broke her fall with her face. She busted her chin open (needed 12 stitches), punctured an eardrum and chipped a tooth.

Carswell placed in a field of 11 with a score of 390.75 in the varsity boys competition. He finished ahead of Johansen's Matt Webb (316.65) and Davis' Clayton Johnson (298.4).

"He failed a dive and still beat a guy by more than 70 points," Simonds said. "He's that good."

Added Carswell: "I won with a failed dive. I was expecting to get second or third."

MacArthur and Carswell have succeeded despite a lack of experience. They just started diving last year.

Both have great body control and form from years of competing in other sports.

Carswell has been practicing Tae Kwon Do for 10 years. MacArthur used to be a gymnast.

"I didn't think I was going to excel at it this much," Carswell said. "I just started because it was fun. I used to mess around (on the diving board) at P.E."

Carswell and MacArthur hope diving will help earn them college scholarships.

Ottersbach, Gresham place

Ceres' Max Ottersbach took eighth with a score of 216.5 at the varsity boys diving championship. Ashliegh Gresham finished third in a field of six with a score of 122.60 in the JV girls diving finals. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier