Trowbridge takes 11th in state diving

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior Alli Trowbridge arcs backwards during one of her early dives on her way to placing 11th at the Iowa Girls’ High School State Diving Championships at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA on Friday night.

Once you qualify as an individual for a state event, one thing becomes abundantly clear.

There are no more bad participants.

That theory was on full display on Friday in the Iowa Girls’ High School State Diving Championships at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, as even in the early going girls were throwing impressively difficult dives.

Even to make it past the first cut, when the divers’ numbers are reduced from 30 to 20, is an achievement, let alone making it into the final three dives. For a second-straight year, Marshalltown junior Alli Trowbridge made it past both cuts at the state meet, taking 11th on Friday with a score of 425.

After the meet, Trowbridge said she performed to the best of her ability, and that’s all she could ask for.

“I think it actually went pretty well, all my dives were around an average of what I do and I did the best that I could do, so I’m pretty happy,” Trowbridge said.

Bobcats head coach Angie Nelson took it a step further, saying Trowbridge earned everything she accomplished in 2017.

“She had a great meet, a lot of spectacular things from her,” Nelson said. “She has worked very, very hard this season and she deserves to be high up in the state rankings.”

Trowbridge not only took 11th, she improved on her seeding score from regionals by five points, something Nelson said is tough to do given the increased judging scrutiny at the state meet.

“It wasn’t her best score of the year but you’re not going to get that here with seven officials,” Nelson said. “She had a nice, solid meet, she was jumping the board really well. We spent a lot of time working on clean finishes and I think that made a huge difference for her here tonight.”

While Alli improved her placing from last season, her sister Sami wasn’t quite as fortunate, as she fell just short of making it past the first cut.

Sami’s third dive on the night didn’t go as expected, leaving her a hole to make up for on the last two dives before the cut that she nearly dug out of, coming up less than two points away from moving on to the second round.

“Sami’s first couple of dives were really solid, she just blew the third one,” Nelson said. “You know what though, she had a nice little comeback for the last two and was just about 1.2 points shy of the cut. She battled back the best way she could, it was just a little more of a challenge than she could overcome.”

After all the dives had finished, Sami said what hindered her to begin with was a lack of concentration when the event started.

“I just don’t think I was that focused and I didn’t want to make a mistake on that dive because I thought I did it really well at regionals, then I just got in my head I guess and didn’t do as well as I could,” she said.

Of course, to even make a comeback on her next two dives before coming up just short of the cut was an accomplishment of its own, and Sami said she just tried to move forward and make the best of things.

“I still thought about it but I tried my best to move on from it, just get past it and focus on one dive at a time, that’s what I try my best to do,” Sami said.

There were a ton of great performances from girls in the final meet of the season, but the night truly belonged to Jayna Misra from Ames, who smoked the competition with a score of 542.45, almost 60 points higher than second-place finisher Jolynn Harris from Des Moines North.

Misra was shocked to find out her score was the second-best score ever recorded at the girls’ state meet, and she said she was just overjoyed that she performed so well on such a big stage.

“Obviously I was really excited,” Misra said between taking photos with almost everyone in attendance. “Just taking it one dive at a time, that was the biggest thing for me today, and I think I achieved that. I am just really personally excited because I got one of my best scores ever, I went out there and I didn’t have any dives that were really five.”

What set Misra apart from the competition was her ability to execute on many dives with a high degree of difficulty. Misra said she has a simple solution for how to perform well on dives that any normal person would be scared to death to try.

“Don’t think too much about it, that’s the biggest thing for me,” she said with a smile. “A lot of this is a very mental sport, so as long as I focus on keeping my conditioning up and as long as I keep going, it’s all focused on as far as I can take it. That’s what I’m going for right now.”

As for the Trowbridge sisters, this was a season of growth that saw both of them return to the state meet, with one reaching further than last year and one falling short of her sophomore performance.

Alli said she is already planning for next season, as she wants to add a top-10 state finish to her resume.

“Next year I am actually really excited, I am going to work really hard in the offseason and work on getting better at diving,” she said.

Sami will enter the offseason with a bad taste in her mouth, but she said missing the cut will only fuel her to work harder to return to the form that saw her place sixth at state in 2016.

“This was a really good experience for me and I feel like I learned a lot from it,” she said. “I am just ready for next year and hopefully I will have a whole different list of dives.”

Day two of the Iowa Girls’ High School State Swimming and Diving Championships is set to start at noon today at the Marshalltown Y.