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Taylor claims conference championship

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown High School junior Hannah Taylor stands atop the podium after winning the CIML Iowa Conference championship on Tuesday at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA. Also pictured on the podium, listed in order of finish, are Mali McGregor of Waukee, Mia Rasmussen of Marshalltown, Liz Noll of Valley, Kerilyn Schmidt of Waukee and Alexa Elliot of Waukee.

Marshalltown High School diver Hannah Taylor orchestrated a comeback win on Tuesday night for her first CIML Iowa Conference championship at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.

The junior opened her night with an incomplete dive after attempting an inward dive.

Taylor, however, used the missed dive to her advantage as the pressure helped her find a rhythm.

“I’ve never failed a dive before,” Taylor said. “I was just embarrassed because it was a really easy dive.

“It’s so nice [to get the win] because I did fail the first dive [but] the pressure of that helped me perform better.”

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown junior Hannah Taylor performs a back dive for her 11th and final attempt during the CIML Iowa Conference diving meet on Tuesday at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.

Sophomore teammate Mia Rasmusson never doubted her teammate’s talent despite the opening miss.

“[As a team we were thinking] it’s going to be hard to come back from it, but I knew she would,” Rasmusson said. “She’s really good and I know Hannah. She is an amazing diver. I’ve known her for a while, we used to tumble together. She’s really good on keeping on going no matter what.”

Taylor bounced back with a score of 30.40 on her second dive before putting together three-consecutive 40-point dives. Taylor scored back-to-back 44-point dives while attempting a back one-and-a-half somersault and an inward one-and-a-half somersault. She followed with a 49.45 on a back somersault one-and-a-half twist.

Taylor then took over first place on her sixth dive of the night with a 36.55 dive on a forward one-and-a-half somersault.

“She really battled back,” MHS head coach Angie Nelson said. “She dove much, much better today minus the first dive that she didn’t complete. She had a great takeoff. I think she was a little tight to the board and that scared her just a little bit. She battled back. Her next three dives were just phenomenal. Better than what she dove for those three dives in a long time. It’s just awesome.”

At the sixth-round break, Nelson’s message to her diver was simple which was to not quit.

“I knew that I had to increase my score to make up for the 30-ish points that I lost,” Taylor said. “It just helped me do the dives to the best of my ability [and find a rhythm.

“We talked about how we both knew that I could come back and I did and to just keep doing what I was doing.”

Taylor won the meet by 31 points after posting a 396.35 total.

“Hannah Taylor has a ton of talent,” Nelson said. “She is among one of the state’s best. She is going to do a great job. This was a really good test for her to see how you can bounce back and overcome the challenge.”

Rasmusson also earned a spot on the podium after finishing in third place with a score of 356.85.

“I’m very happy with myself especially since last year I was injured during this time,” Rasmusson said. “This is my first time coming to conference and so I’m just really happy with myself.

“I was a little nervous but I knew that this meet really won’t affect if I get to go to regionals or state. I was just having fun.”

Rasmusson found success early on after opening with a 33.15 score on a forward one-and-a-half somersault. She then followed with a 44-point score on a forward double somersault. Rasmusson closed out the meet by post a 38.25 dive on a back somersault half twist and a 34.20 score on a back somersault one twist.

“Mia knocked it out of the park tonight,” Nelson said. “She has been working on a new dive. She kind of puts her mind to something and goes for it. She had great height tonight so she got off the board really well. She puts her body in the air and it’s going to know what to do. Its tight on the finish. She has a great top on those dives. For her it’s just about making sure she goes straight up and not leaning out a little. Tonight her scores were really good.”

The Bobcats also had freshmen Kaisa Stanley finish in eighth place with a score of 320.10 and Kiersten Randall finish in 10th place with a score of 270.15.

The Marshalltown divers will return to action at the regional meet on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. at Southeast Polk.

CIML Iowa Conference Diving

At Marshalltown

Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA

1. Hannah Taylor, jr., MHS, 396.35

2. Mali McGregor, sr., WAU, 365.70

3. Mia Rasmusson, so., MHS, 356.85

4. Liz Noll, fr., VAL, 348.40

5. Kerilyn Schmidt, jr., WAU, 346.70

6. Alexa Elliot, so., WAU, 341.45

7. Elyse Porter, sr., VAL, 340.65

8. Kaisa Stanley, fr., MHS, 320.10

9. Madeline Chambers, so., SEP, 294.30

10. Kiersten Randall, fr., MHS, 270.15

11. Keira Fox, so., SEP, 219.50

12. Isley Baxter, so., SEP, 205.33

13. Payton McCrady, fr., WAU, 172.70

14. Grace Palmer, jr., WAU, 166.05

15. Natalie Davis, sr., WAU, 155.05

16. Jaia Dee Sundo, so., WAU, 152.70

17. Isa Madrigal, fr., WAU, 151.25

18. Hadley Ricklefs, fr., WAU, 144.70