Chagrin’s newest state champion


Photo courtesy of CFHS Swim Coach Beth Sonnhalter

Three is a magic number for junior Samantha Holtz as she secured the Division II diving title at her third trip to the state championship on February 22. 

Holtz scored a total of 454.95 points, placing her around fifty points ahead of the runner-up. She is the second Chagrin diver to ever win the title. 

“The state title has only been won by one other diver,” said Mr. Brian McKenna, director of the Chagrin Falls Alumni Association. “Jamie Englhardt, from the class of 2010, won the title on the boy’s side, so this makes Sam the first Chagrin girl to ever win.” 

Holtz has been diving for many years, and her hard work has definitely paid off. 

With an incredible sense of determination, she committed to continue her diving career at Harvard University. 

“I found that Harvard was a truly incredible school and environment that I wanted to be a part of,” said Holtz. “I have known Harvard’s diving instructor, Coach Matt, since I first started diving, and I talked with him and several other coaches before I made my verbal commitment. I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Teammates and friends alike supported Holtz throughout her successful season, and many of them made the trek out to the state meet to watch her dive. 

However, the support didn’t stop there. The entire Chagrin Falls community and beyond rallied for Holtz and her achievements, and she wouldn’t be the diver she is today without their backing. 

“There are so many people that have supported me along the way that I would love to thank,” Holtz said. “Firstly, the swim team who has supported me throughout all three years of being on the team. Additionally, both my coaches at Chagrin and my club who have worked tirelessly to help me through every practice and meet. Finally, my amazing family and friends who always cheer me on no matter the results.”