With a sterling effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium on Friday, Whitnall senior Rachel Stave threw her name into the hat to be considered the greatest prep diver the state has ever seen.
One year after becoming one of just 15 athletes in the WIAA’s 31-year diving history to claim at least two state titles, Stave joined an even smaller group Friday by winning her third straight title in dominating fashion.
She obliterated the Division 2 state record with 497.3 points, far outdistancing herself from Edgewood sophomore Gina Jacobson, the runner-up with 406.15, and became just the third athlete in history to win three WIAA titles.
Stave joined Brown Deer’s Gina Ketelhohn, who won four straight D2 titles from 1992-95, including a then-D2 state record 480.0-point effort in 1995, and Madison West’s Kylie Rosenstock, a four-time D1 champion from 2006-09, as the only divers with three or more titles.
Stave’s point total came up just short of the all-time state meet record of 502.45 set by Lauren LeRoy of Oshkosh North in the 2003 D1 meet.
The only other Falcon to qualify for the state meet was senior Sarah Arteaga, who swam 14th in the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 17.85 seconds and 16th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.03.