IOWA CITY — From flips in midair to back dives to twists, diving contains many interesting tricks.
City High freshman Gretta Stanier already is leaving her mark on the diving team.
“I was always into gymnastics,” Stanier said. “I would go to classes but I didn’t want to really commit to it. So diving was a way for me to do gymnastics, but it was also unique and different.”
Stanier started diving at a young age when her friends encouraged her to join the Iowa Diving Club. She quickly began to love the sport.
“When I first started diving, I was really bad. I did a lot of basic training, like jumping on the board and just getting comfortable with (the board),” Stanier said.
Now, Stanier’s favorite dives include back dives and twists. She jumps up off the board, propels herself into the air and twists around as the water is rushing up to meet her. The whole dive only takes a split second and then it is over.
“I like that (diving) is challenging and that you can always add more on to what you know and get better,” Stanier said.
This year, the City High diving team was made up of six girls, coached by Lori Meierbachtol, along with divers from West High.
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“It has been wonderful having Greta on the team this year and getting to know her and her diving,” Meierbachtol said. “She has a great deal of talent and potential.”
At regionals, Stanier placed 11th with a final score of 333.15 points, placing the highest of the three City divers but missing the qualification for state by only 26.85 points.
“Greta has a big advantage coming onto the diving team with a little bit of a background diving on a club team before high school,” Meierbachtol said. “She has learned some great basic diving techniques on this club team, which will make it easier for her to start doing more and more dives with a higher degree of difficulty.”
Stanier is trying to learn more difficult dives that get a greater number of points at competitions. She hopes to keep improving her diving throughout high school and eventually get a scholarship to dive in college.
“My favorite part about coaching Greta is that she is very coachable,” Meierbachtol said. “She tries very hard to understand the changes I am asking her to make and she puts a lot of effort into making corrections to improve her dives.
“She definitely has the talent to dive at the college level one day as long as she stays committed to building strength and power.”
Editor’s note: Third in a four-part series looking at top freshman at Iowa City by Little Hawk sports editor Julianne Berry-Stoelzle.