By Chloe Newsome
Grier Backus stands at the edge of the board ready to execute her next dive. As she pauses, she thinks back to her days as a competitive gymnast.
Backus, a freshman, is one of the two new girl divers. She was a gymnast for eight years before she had an ankle injury that forced her to quit. She decided the next sport she would try would be diving.
Many divers have backgrounds in cheer, gymnastics or dance.
“From gymnastics I already know how to twist,” Backus said. “For diving, twisters are one of the hardest things to learn. From gymnastics I have great air awareness. I know where I am in the air and what is going on and how to fix something that may go wrong.”
Sophomore Ava West is the other new girl diver. She also was a gymnast for eight years. West wanted to do a winter sport and decided that diving was her favorite option.
“I really like being able to use my gymnastics experience again,” she said.
West also thinks doing gymnastics when she was younger helps her in diving.
“It really helps because gymnastics taught me to be very body aware,” West said. “Most of the skills I’ve either done before by myself or at least felt the feeling of twisting and flipping.”
Backus and West practice around 12 to 13 hours a week for diving. Both of the divers have been practicing to prepare for upcoming meets.
The divers started their season with a meet at Yorktown on Nov. 29. Both divers are scared and excited for the upcoming meets.
“I am nervous about my reverse dives because it is always scary to do a backflip going forward,” Backus said. “It’s scary to see the board and especially hit it.”
Mrs. Laura Seibold-Caudill, who has coached the Eagles since 2012 , also took over responsibilities as the new diving coach this season. She had a background in diving as an All-American at Michigan State University in the 1970s.
“I decided to coach diving because I was a diver and the potential the divers had,” Laura said.