The Harrison Raiders swimming and diving teams got some good news Friday as senior diver Phoenix LaLopa was announced as eligible to dive next semester and finish the season.
LaLopa was originally planning on graduating midterm to pursue exploratory studies in China during April and May but has changed it to March and April, only missing a month of school and allowing him to finish the season enrolled as a Harrison student.
Lalopa’s presence on the team should provide a huge boost to the team come sectionals time as he tries to make the state tournament for a second consecutive year.
“Diving is a critical part of the program,” said senior captain Payton Lanie “Phoenix is a big part of that and it will be great to have him on the team for sectionals.”
Fellow senior and diver Ben Weber was also very excited to have Phoenix continue to be a part of the team and praised LaLopa saying, “He is the most experienced out of the divers and he is the best out of us. It is great that he will be able to continue to help the team train and perfect our techniques.”
Sophomore and fellow state qualifier John Roop also had nothing but good things to say about LaLopa saying, “He was a state qualifier last year and him coming back is going to be a great asset to the team since he is responsible for a large chunk of our team’s diving points.”
This is yet another positive development to a strong Raider squad that has aged a year and looks to maintain and even improve on a season in which they went undefeated in the regular season, won conference, and placed second at sectionals, only losing to state powerhouse Zionsville.
The team and LaLopa should be exciting to watch as they try to improve on the two state qualifiers from a season ago and work towards Zionsville-like dominance in the next couple of years.