Khechfe wraps up zone diving competition and collegiate diving career
MINNEAPOLIS – Kansas senior diver Nadia Khechfe wrapped up her four years of collegiate competition earlier this afternoon inside the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
Although the two days of zones diving were fast paced, Khechfe was able to enjoy her last collegiate competition with friends and surpass challenges that arose. In her three-meter event, Khechfe broke her score from last year by 11.75 points to finish with 216.10. Head diving coach Gabe Downey noticed her ability to move forward in the competition.
“Yesterday was a different challenge; a bigger meet than we have had all year,” Downey said. “I expected for Nadia to respond better for the three-meter competition and I think that she did. She was able to compete in such a deep field and get into the zone.”
In her years as a Jayhawk, as well as being the only senior diver this season, Khechfe has managed to make tremendous accomplishments and contributions to her team. She is a team representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and also served as a team captain for her dedication to the swimming and diving team.
“It was a super positive thing for me to be so involved and give a voice to such a small sport,” Khechfe said. “I have been honored to wear a Jayhawk on my chest for these last four years. Through this athletic department I have gained some awesome people in my life. This program, especially diving, has come a long way since I was a freshman and a lot of that is from Coach Gabe’s dedication. Leaving this program, I know I left everything on the table. I gave this sport my all and walking away with that feeling is the best outcome I could ask for.”
Khechfe has kept a high standard for herself and her teammates while at the University of Kansas. Throughout her collegiate years she has gained respect from her peers because of her enjoyable attitude and natural ability to be a leader. KU’s swimming and diving team has grown and she had a chance to be a part of that and take on the opportunity to have a major role in her everyday actions.
“I have had four Big 12s with her and four zone meets,” Downey said. “I think the biggest lasting thing will be in the direction of the team going forward. The team is in a much better place than it was a few years ago and I think her (Khechfe’s) contributions speak volumes to that. In fact, we have had two years in a row at Big 12s that KU has had the best performances and that speaks to the leadership and character on the team.”
Diving has given Khechfe so many life lessons and skills that will follow her wherever she goes. Being on the team gave her a unique experience to cultivate her abilities in both a physical and mental way. The durability that comes with being a Division I athlete is not an easy one, yet Khechfe has surpassed it.
“I’ve learned a lot from this sport,” Khechfe concluded. “I’ve learned how to be mentally, physically and emotionally tough. This sport and the experiences that came along with it have taught me how to be resilient. I’ve been able to be adaptable in all types of situations. Everything this sport has taught me I will carry for the rest of my life and I am so thankful for that.”
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