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updated: 11/1/2013 9:48 PM

Prospect's Liva dives to third straight MSL title

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Make that a three-peat in Mid-Suburban League girls diving for Prospect's Dana Liva.

The standout junior again rose above some fine competition, finishing her 11-dive performance with a score of 409.40 to win the event for the third straight year on Friday at Barrington.

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Diving counts as one event toward the conference swimming and diving championship meet, which resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday at Barrington with the swimming events.

In case you're wondering, no, winning isn't getting old for the three-time league champ.

"It's absolutely a thrill, every time," said Liva, also a two-time state qualifier and point-scorer. "And diving in a conference like this, it really keeps you honest. It's the perfect motivation if there's anything you need to fix."

Liva saved her favorite dive for last, a front 2, tuck position. She nailed it, getting 5's and 6's to get some separation from a competitive pack close behind.

The top three was a repeat of last season, with Hersey's Hannah Bovino finishing second (366.05) and Fremd's Sydney Plichta taking third (358.95). Fremd's Sarah McTague (336.60) placed fourth, helping the Vikings 'win' the event with 31 points, ahead of Hersey (30) and Barrington (23).

Barrington senior Tiffany Soto was fifth at 325.35, and Hersey senior Anne Johnson placed sixth at 323.45.

Bovino has the kind of ability that would make her a conference champ if it weren't for the presence of Liva, but in the end she says it's only helped her.

"It's great," Bovino said. "Having someone like here really pushes all of us and makes us work harder."

Both Hersey divers look forward to the chance to compete at the sectional meet Nov. 16.

"It's nice, because we've been friends since were little, in gymnastics," said Johnson. "We're looking forward to cleaning some things up, then doing our best at the sectional."

Hersey's duo will compete at Glenbrook South, while Liva returns to Barrington along with most of the Mid-Suburban League programs.

Liva's coach, Antonino Bondi, says the main improvement he's seen in her over the last year is better consistency.

"I think last year, she was still in a mode where she was kind of searching for something on a few dives," he said. "There are things we can clean up from today, but what was nice about today was it was just a very consistent job."

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