Moses Lake divers Bateman, Tolley ready to represent

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Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake divers Bethany Bateman (left) and Lauren Tolley have qualified for the WIAA state swim and dive meet. Bateman is the District 6 champion seeded No. 5 and Tolley is seeded No. 17.

MOSES LAKE — A typical swim race, especially at the statewide level, is filled with a fervor that can startle a newcomer.

Limbs cut through the pristine water while shouts of encouragement reverberate from the gallery.

Speed, time is what matters.

Diving, although in the milieu of aquatic sports, is much different. The crowd is hushed and the solitary competitor gathers her focus for a maneuver that takes seconds.

Now repeat that process, over and over, for judges.

Moses Lake divers Bethany Bateman and Lauren Tolley will attempt to execute their best routines at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way on Friday, the first day of the state swim and dive meet.

“This summer we went over to Federal Way to King County Aquatic Center and went to a dive camp there and I really thought that was helpful because when you don’t dive for about six or seven months it’s really difficult to get that back, so it was nice to have an opportunity to get back on the board this summer and get some things back before our normal practice time,” Tolley said.

Time well spent, undoubtedly.

Bateman, who has experience as a cheerleader and gymnast, began diving two weeks before her sophomore year only to become the first in Moses Lake High School history to win a District 6 championship a year later as a junior. Her score of 366.35 was a season-high and enough to seed her fifth overall at state — 11 slots higher than 2017.

“I improved a lot on my technique,” Bateman said. “Last year we were just kind of here learning the basics — how to make it into the water and not look super bad — but this year we focused more on the form and the entry.”

Tolley was fourth at the district meet, receiving a wild card berth with 306.35 points. She is seeded No. 17 — the top 16 advance to finals. A bit of shuffling in the pack ahead and Moses Lake could comprise one-eighth of the field on championship Saturday.

“That would be pretty awesome,” Tolley said. “Just to know that this town where no one knows about it we’re kind of representing the divers in our state.”

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