By Brian Peloza, correspondent
Jun 27, 2016 at 7:25 am | Print View
INDIANAPOLIS — Deidre Freeman Huff knows what her immediate future holds: She’s got a long car ride to New York on Tuesday.
Freeman Huff will sign her contract to become the next diving coach at Colgate University and begin settling into her new life outside of Iowa.
As for her long-term future as a competitive diver, well, that’s not as clear.
Freeman Huff finished ninth in the 3-meter springboard finals at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials on Sunday. She may retire from competitive diving, but isn’t ruling out one more run at becoming an Olympian in 2020.
“I don’t really know yet,” Freeman Huff said. “I’m not hanging the suit up. I’m not telling people that I’m retired. I’m definitely going to take some time off. I think I really need it and deserve it. But we’ll see if I come back to it the next year or the year after.”
But for the part that makes returning seem more likely: “I just think that I still have a little bit left,” Freeman Huff said.
Kassidy Cook won the trials with a cumulative score of 1,003.65, earning the only guaranteed spot on the U.S. OIympic team. Freeman Huff was ninth with 840.90 points.
“I thought I performed pretty well,” Freeman Huff said. “I was pretty consistent throughout the whole meet. I really didn’t miss anything, but I didn’t have a lot of big hits which I normally do.”
Make no mistake, Freeman Huff wanted to make the U.S. Olympic team. But a new perspective she developed over the past few months allowed her to focus more on the progress she has made.
And the biggest progress came from what she referenced as her most consistent dives of the three-round event: an inward 2½ pike, and a front 3½ pike. Ironically, those are dives that “terrified” her earlier in her career.
“You’re flipping toward the board,” Freeman-Huff said. “I don’t know why I’m scared of it, because it seems like it would almost be scarier to do a tuck. Because your head is out on the outside of your tuck, and on a pike it’s your legs. I don’t know why I was afraid of it, but I was. I couldn’t explain it. It was really frustrating to go through that.”
Freeman Huff scored 54.25 and 51.0 on those two dives during the finals, which resulted in two of her three highest scoring dives on Sunday.
“I thought they were really good, but you’re not going to see that in the scores,” Freeman Huff said. “I feel really, really good and proud of myself for doing those two dives. Those were my most consistent dives in this whole meet, across all three lists. I hit those dives like I wanted to hit them.”
The confidence she gained in those two dives may be enough to push her toward making that last run at the Olympics in 2020.
“I was confident in all five of my dives,” Freeman Huff said. “That is so empowering for me.”