Bauman returns to diving regional

Mansitee junior Nick Bauman will compete in a Division 3 diving regional on Tuesday at East Grand Rapids. (Matt Wenzel/News Advocate file photo)

When the regular season comes to a close, practices at the Paine Aquatic Center look a little less crowded.

For the past two seasons, Nick Bauman has found himself part of the exclusive club that gets to gear up for the postseason. The Manistee junior will make a return trip to East Grand Rapids on Tuesday for a Division 3 diving regional starting at 5 p.m.

“I feel I have (improved),” Bauman said during a recent practice. “I feel like I have better board work now, and I’ve got some higher-degree dives which I think should help a lot.

“I should be somewhere near (the cut).”

A top-16 finish will be needed by Bauman Tuesday in order to join his teammates this weekend at Eastern Michigan University for the D3 finals. The Chippewas qualified in four events this season, including two relays.

Bauman missed the cut at the regional as a sophomore a season ago, but with a third-place finish in the Coastal Swim Conference championships last week, he punched his ticket to another try.

“He’s a repeater, and has certainly sharpened his dives,” said Manistee swim coach Corey Van Fleet. “Technique-wise he’s a little mature. He’s diving better, and scoring better. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the top 16 which will put him state meet.”

Having been to the regional round before, there shouldn’t be surprises in store for Bauman, whom Van Fleet expects to be comfortable in that atmosphere.

“That’s what we hope,” he said. “He’s older, he’s been there, so you would suspect he’s ready.”

Van Fleet added that the Chippewas’ schedule this season should have also helped his diver prepare for the event.

“It’s not unlike a conference meet where you’ve got a dozen divers,” he said. “It takes a little longer but they run the diving faster.

“It’s also an 11-dive program, and we’ve been to so many invitationals this year where that’s what they run” he added. “He got used to diving all 11.

“He’s got a few he’s working hard on, and is trying to insert some with some higher degree of difficulty.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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