Hansotte diving in rare air
Butler standout posts 223 score off the board
By John Enrietto
Eagle Sports Editor
BUTLER TWP — Jon Hansotte keeps raising his goals — and diving toward them.
The Butler junior did not join the Golden Tornado diving team until January of last year. He qualified for the WPIAL meet after just six weeks.
Hansotte's score of 187 in the last regular season met of the 2015-16 season got him there.
“This year, I'd like to do really well in the WPIALs, maybe finish in the top 10,” Hansotte said. “I didn't get past the first round last year.”
He's definitely made strides since then.
After scoring a personal-best 199 off the diving board earlier this season, Hansotte exploded with a 223.55 in a Jan. 3 meet against Mars.
“You don't see a whole lot of 200 scores around here,” Butler diving coach Ken Bedford said. “Jon joins a list of maybe 15 other Butler divers to do that and this program has been here for more than 40 years.
“Considering this is only his first full year with the team and in the sport, it's pretty incredible.”
But not surprising in Bedford's eyes.
“It's his athleticism,” the coach said. “Jon is just an athlete. He could pick up and try any sport and be successful at it. He's also a pitcher in baseball.
“He is a coach's dream. He listens to what you say, then goes to work on applying it and making it work for him.”
Hansotte is not satisfied at 223. His goal right now is 240.
And that could change as time goes on.
“There are things I know I can do better, that I could have done better even on that night (of scoring 223),” Hansotte said. “Getting that 200 did feel good, though. I know not many guys have done it, so it's a good self-accomplishment for me.”
While Hansotte has set a goal of getting through to the state meet next year, Bedford won't rule out this season.
“If he hits on everything — and he could — it may happen for him,” the coach said. “But there's so many great divers in the WPIAL. The competition is so overwhelming.
“Jon has the tools to do it. Whether it all comes together is the question.”
Hansotte credits Bedford for his fast-developing success off the board. His high school coach is one of the reasons Hansotte hopes to continue his diving career at Clarion University in a couple of years.
“Ken has been so helpful,” Hansotte said. “He motivates me and he knows technique. He's getting the most out of me. He's a great coach, one of the best.”
Bedford is a former Clarion diver, as is Butler graduate Health Calhoun, who went on to win NCAA championships at Clarion.
Calhoun has been helping to coach Hansotte as well.
“I haven't been recruited by Clarion or anything, but I did swing by and talked to their coach while I was visiting the campus,” Hansotte said. “I'm hoping to go up there and continue the Butler tradition.
“That would mean a lot to me, to follow in those guys' footsteps.”