Brianna Devlin's short, but highly successful high school diving career came to an end Saturday with a strong second-place finish in the Class 6A one-meter championships at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.

BriannaDevlinState1Topeka High senior Brianna Devlin hits the water during Saturday's Class 6A one-meter diving finals on the way to a second-place state finish. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

The Topeka High senior, who didn't take up diving until her junior year, started Saturday's finals in second place and stayed that way after having posted a fourth-place state finish in her first state meet in 2022.

Saturday's runnerup finish capped Devlin's impressive switch to diving after spending most of her life as a gymnast.

"I started gymnastics when I was five because I used to climb up on furniture all the time and flip around,'' Devlin said. "I didn't have good balance so my mom enrolled me in gymnastics and then I started competitive gymnastics and I did that for 12 years.''

Devlin, who was home-schooled until her junior year, credits Hayden sophomore diver Kaylee Gregg, a 5A-1A state finalist, with helping her get interested in the sport.

"Really, the only reason I kind of do dive is because of Kaylee Gregg because we went to the same gymnastics club together and she was like, 'Oh, I'm going to try out for dive,' and I was like, 'That sounds kind of fun,' and I went to Topeka High to join the dive team,'' Devlin said.

"I just kind of wanted to try something new and when I started diving I had a lot of success with that. And at the time I wasn't doing the best at gymnastics so I just went for full dive.''

From her first meet for the Trojans last spring, it was apparent that Devlin had the talent to be among the state's best.

"I surprised myself at the first meet when i qualified for state because I had a gymnastics meet like two days before that meet and I did not qualify for state at all for gymnastics so when I qualified for state at dive I was really surprised then,'' Devlin said. "That gave me a lot of motivation.''

Blue Valley Northwest junior Claire Garrelts won her second straight state title with a score of 434.70 while Devlin was second at 406.75, improving from 389.35 in the 2022 state meet.

"I feel like I'm better this year than I was last year mentally. I feel like physically I'm pretty much the same but mentally I'm a lot better.''  

AudreyAppuhnState1Washburn Rural's Audrey Appuhn posted a pair of top-four finishes in her first Class 6A state meet Saturday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Rural's Appuhn impressive in state debut

While Saturday was Devlin's final state meet, Washburn Rural freshman Audrey Appuhn got her state career off to a great start.

Appuhn finished third in the 6A 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 10.16 seconds and was fourth in the 500 freestyle in 5:14.45.

The Rural standout also teamed with seniors Kiersten Harris, Mara Bare and Makenna Pritchard to win the 'B' final (ninth place) in the 200 medley relay in 1:55.03 and with sophomore Genevieve Miranda, Bare and Pritchard to win the 'B' final in the 400 free relay in 3:45.72.

Bare finished fifth in the 200 freestyle in 1:59.99 and Pritchard took eighth in the 50 freestyle in 24.99.

Washburn Rural finished eighth in the team standings with 125 points.



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