DIVING: Botkins' Bauer wins state title

CANTON — Botkins senior Logan Bauer returned home a state champion Wednesday as he won the state diving championship in finals at Canton.

But it wasn’t easy.

Bauer and Canton Central Catholic diver Alex Gonzalez were neck-and-neck throughout the entire competition. Gonzalez had a slight lead after the first dive, but Bauer recaptured the lead after the second dive and lead through the fourth dive.

Gonzalez again captured the lead after the fifth dive and was a fraction of a point ahead going into the final two dives.

Bauer retook the lead on the 10th dive and held his lead by a mere quarter of a point to seal the championship. Bauer scored a 474.05 while Gonzalez scored a 473.80.

Bauer came into the meet as the top seed after he had set records at both the sectional and district competitions. His 488.00 set a sectional record and he followed it up with a 503.00 at district for another record.

His district mark also stands as the school record. He did not approach those numbers Wednesday, which helped keep the competition close, but it was enough to carry him to the win.

Bauer, only in his second year of diving, placed second in the state competition last year.

“I felt ecstatic,” Bauer said. “I was so happy. I had been working so hard for it.”

Bauer is the son of John and Rosemary Bauer in Botkins. He also has two older brothers. He said his family’s reaction was the same as his, one of jubilance.

“My mom cried her eyes out,” Bauer said. “They were very happy for me.”

Bauer said it was the biggest accomplishment of his high school career. He said the fact that he had to travel to practice and was able to practice only three and a half hours a week made it even more remarkable.

“A lot of the divers I faced had the facilities and could practice every day, Bauer said. “We just had to make the most out of each practice and it paid off.”

Bauer has not decided on a college yet but plans to dive in college while majoring in business management. He said he has had several calls and has received several letters from colleges but has not received any official offers yet.