Schaumburg's Matt Sigler and Adam Maslowski, friends for as long as they can remember, got to share the spotlight on Friday night at Barrington.
The one-time kindergarten classmates moved to the head of the high school diving class by producing the top team finish as the Mid-Suburban League meet got started.
Contact information ( * required )
Sigler produced the top score of 372.05, and Maslowski was fourth at 321.70.
Saxons diving coach Lisa Raclawski has coached both through all four of their high school seasons, so seeing the pair collectively achieve such distinction was especially gratifying.
It's also more than a coincidence, she says, that both of them ended up finishing so high in the final standings.
"They absolutely do push each other in practice," said Raclawski, who earned the first MSL champ in her seven seasons coaching at Schaumburg. "They're close friends, but they're also competitors -- they have their moments. Bottom line, it helps them both improve."
Key to Sigler's triumph were his last three dives. Among them was a double-back; he's had a tendency to move too far away from the board to get the highest possible score, but that wasn't a problem this time.
"Pretty much nailed it," he said with a grin.
Competing at all was a kind of triumph for Maslowski, who missed the end of last season with a stomach muscle injury.
He was happy to see his pal succeed, but both are looking forward to another chance at next weekend's sectional meet at Stevenson.
Maslowski says that although diving is a very individual sport, there's no denying that Sigler's presence elevates his own performance.
"If I see something he does really well, I say to myself, 'Well, he's got me there ... let's see if I can get back over here,' " Maslowski said.
Elk Grove senior Joe Kraemer took the runner-up spot, finishing at 352.35. He held a slim lead after 8 dives, but Sigler was sharper in the final three rounds.
"Overall, I can say I'm pretty happy with how things went," Kraemer said. "I've got some things I can clean up before sectional ... and I definitely need to work on staying focused through all my dives."
Conant freshman Cole Aykroid impressed by taking third place (331.05).
That a freshman would place so high is remarkable enough, but this one had the added disadvantage of missing a little bit of time early in this when -- get this -- he thought he wasn't good enough to compete in the sport and actually quit the team briefly.
"Obviously," said Conant diving coach Robin Yactor, "we're really glad it worked out. He's very skilled."
A pair of young Buffalo Grove divers, freshman Jack Delanttre and Josh Opperman, rounded out the top six.
Delanttre was fifth at 314.95 and Opperman was sixth at 314.25.
Taking places 7 through 12 and generating team points in the meet were Stephen Schmit (7th, Prospect, 307.40), Dylan Wilken (8th, Palatine, 287.65), Chase Jauch (9th, Fremd, 283.7), Riley Busche (10th, Hersey, 280.95), Anthony Liva (11th, Prospect, 278.7) and Ty Klarner (12th, Fremd, 273.8).