Rousseau shines above the rest to win state title


State champ: Viera High's Sarah Rousseau poses with coaches (from l-r) Sandy Spence, Ryan Just and Morgan Woodard after winning the Class 3A state diving championship.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Lynette Rousseau

Sarah Rousseau went into last week’s Class 3A state meet with one thing in mind:

“I was just thinking about trying to perfect each dive, not my overall place,” the Viera High sophomore diver said.

Well, by the end of the meet, Rousseau was standing in the perfect place – the top of the medal stand at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.

The 15-year-old became only the second member of the Viera swimming and diving program – and the first girl – to win a state championship with her score of 456.90.

Luke Zippi is Viera’s only other state champ, winning the boys diving title in 2009.

It had already been quite a year for Rousseau, who set the school record with 466.5 points at the Cape Coast Conference meet and then went on to win her second consecutive regional title.

Though she knew she had a chance to win the state title, she certainly didn’t go in overconfident and, as she said earlier, simply concentrated on making each dive the best it could be.

That included her final dive, an inward 1 ½ pike, that she knew she needed to hit just right in order to lock down the state title.

“In practice, they weren’t the best, so I knew I had to not fall back and have a clean entry,” she said.

She nailed it, all right. And the state title was hers,

“I was happy that I won and I was happy because I made my coach(es) proud,” said Rousseau, referring to diving coaches Yaidel Gamboa, Bill Talbot and Viera High’s Randy Just.

Rosseau wasn’t the only Viera High swimmer to take part in the state meet.

In the boys diving competition, Ryan Just finished fourth while Dylan Parris was 24th.

Peter Haddad finished 13th in the 100 free (48.43) and 12th in the 100 back (55.13). He was also part of the 200 free relay team that finished 15th (1:32.58). Also on that team were Ethan Greek, Zach McDermott and Grant Spence.

Rosseau, who lives in Viera and is homeschooled, is already gearing up for her next big meet – a national tournament with her club team, YCF Diving.