KU Diving Report

Jan. 30, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – To say this year’s performances by Kansas divers were ahead of schedule would not be an understatement. Junior Christy Cash and sophomore Alyssa Golden both qualified for NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Championships, in only their team’s sixth regular season meet.

“I did not see them diving like that, but for some reason they were both on that day,” said diving coach Eric Elliott of his duo’s performance on Nov. 19 vs. Nebraska-Omaha. “I don’t know what they had for dinner the night before or when they went to bed, but things were just clicking.”

Cash earned her second straight Zone ‘D’ berth with lifetime best scores in the one and three meter events. Her 269.02 score in the three-meter, as well as a 289.04 point total during one-meter competition earned her first place honors in both events.

Golden punched her first ever ticket to zones on the same day, with a 254.48 performance in the three-meter and a 269.02 score in the one-meter. Both were lifetime bests in the two events.

“Making Zones was obviously a huge accomplishment,” Golden thought. “I think that this year I have really turned the corner from where I was a season ago.”

“I figured that was going to be the meet to do it at,” Cash said. “With the level of competition and it not being as stressful, it was easier to just go out there and do what you know how to do.”

As far as the rest of the season goes, Elliott is looking forward to what his pair of divers has in store for the opposition.

“I am really looking forward to the Iowa State meet and I think they are going to start showing some consistency,” Elliott thought. “My goal for them at Big 12’s is to dive well. I want them to come out feeling like they dove as good or better as what they have been diving.”

That includes scoring a few points for their squad and helping them carry a bit of momentum into NCAA Zone ‘D’s, March 9-12 in Iowa City, Iowa.

“I think they should be able to score in at least two events (at Big 12’s),” Elliott said. “But for me as a coach, just being able to see that they are making the corrections and furthering themselves in their development would be great, because that is what I am trying to get them to do.”

“As far as conference goes, obviously I want to score, but I think my main focus this year is on tower (platform),” Cash explained. “I want to see how I improved from last year.”

Cash finished seventh overall during platform at the 2011 Big 12 Championships in Austin, Texas with a lifetime best score of 225.60.

“It would be nice to be able to train it once a week, but it is still kind of exciting because you have to focus a lot harder during the times that you train,” the junior said. “It is definitely tough but it is also exciting because you don’t know exactly what is going to happen, so it is also a lot easier to go out and have fun.”

As far as Cash’s sophomore counterpart, Alyssa Golden thinks she is up for the challenge that the final few meets will present to her.

“I would love to score at conference,” she thought. “With Zone’s, this is my first time going, so I just want to make an appearance and do well. There are going to be a lot of good divers there, so I am not sure where I will finish.”

For the Zone Diving newcomer, it proves to be a small comfort that she will have her partner in crime (Christy Cash) with her when the pair makes their second trip to the state of Iowa in two months.

“I think it is going to help a lot because I don’t know really know anything about Zones,” she explained. “So I feel like I can really learn from Christy, because she can help calm my nerves and tell me how the meet actually works.”

For their coach, this diving partnership is one that he feels benefits both parties involved.

“They are good friends and they push each other,” Elliott explained. “Christy has the experience but there have been times this year where Alyssa has beaten her in some events, so, I think they very much feed off of each other.”

(KU Divers’ Season Rewind)

013012aaa_369_6857641.jpegChristy Cash (Jr.) Lenexa, Kan.

Season best dives:
1 Meter (6 Dives) 289.04* vs UNO, Nov. 19
1 Meter (11 Dives) 237.80 Mizzou Invite, Dec. 1
3 Meter (6 Dives) 269.78* vs UNO, Nov. 19
3 Meter (11 Dives) 268.20 Mizzou Invite, Dec. 1
Platform (11 Dives) 216.30 Mizzou Invite, Dec 1
*=Lifetime best

Elliott on Cash
“I think Christy has more experience under her belt. She has been in a lot more meets and kind of knows what the routine is now. Looking forward, this is going to be her third time at Big 12’s and second time at Zones, so she is I think going to improve place wise, not just diving wise (at those competitions.)”

Elliott said he has been specifically working on her platform routine of late, but has also had her try her hand at tougher dives in the one-meter.

“She is beefing those up a bit, but she is also working on some of the little things as far as keeping her dives closer to the board and other little mechanical adjustments,” he said. “All those have been coming around lately, and I am really excited.”

013012aaa_369_6857695.jpegAlyssa Golden (So.) Portage, Mich.

Season best dives:
1 Meter (6 Dives) 269.02* vs UNO, Nov. 19
1 Meter (11 Dives) 223.45 Mizzou Invite, Dec. 1
3 Meter (6 Dives) 254.48 vs UNO, Nov. 19
3 Meter (11 Dives) 198.90 Mizzou Invite, Dec. 1
*=Lifetime best

Elliott on Golden
“I think Alyssa has a drive to want to be there and has stepped it up another notch, not just at practice, but what I hear from the weight room, she is really ‘kicking it’ in there. She is also on board with the nutritional aspects of training, so she is doing all that she needs to get better. That is what I am really impressed with about her, she really wants it.”

Elliott has been working on some newer, tougher dives with the underclassman to put in her arsenal.

“She has some really big dives that she is doing now, so it is going to take a while before she can get them down, but she is on track to do some really great things next year. She is also getting better at competing, heexplained. “In terms of realizing that she has to flip the switch on and do it when it counts.”

Looking Ahead…
2012-13 will be an exciting year for Coach Elliott and his current diving duo, as they will have an incoming freshman in Union, Ky. Native Meredith Brownell to create a solid diving trio.

“I think it will be great because both Christy and Alyssa know the system and the routine,” Elliott said. “They will be able to help her (Meredith) become immersed in diving at the NCAA level. I think Meredith too is going to bring a lot to the table as far as her natural and physical ability because she is already a really solid diver. Next year’s team is going to be really fun because I will have a young piece of clay to work with, but then I will have two grizzled veterans that know the system, so they all should work very nicely together.”

“I think we will be really strong next year,” Cash thought. “My freshman year, we had Meg (Proehl and two other upperclassmen divers), but I feel like next year we could have three pretty strong and very consistent divers.”

Big 12 Championships Info: http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=205177413

NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Info: http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/NCAA/Championships/Swimming+and+Diving+Championship+Women