Lewis-Palmer junior diver Savana Trueb is jumping into a relatively new sport in a new setting and is sticking the landing.
Trueb grew up a gymnast and moved across the western half of United States, including a previous stop in Colorado. When the grueling demands of competitive gymnastics - 40-hour training weeks were not uncommon - became too much, Trueb gave diving a try about three years ago.
“I mentally couldn’t do it anymore,” the Ranger junior said. “And then I tried diving for a week I did at the Air Force Academy as a camp, and I really loved it.”
She returned to gymnastics but eventually moved on. She left the sport as a Level 10 gymnast, the highest level of the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Program.
Success didn’t stay on solid ground, however.
As a freshman in Anchorage, Alaska, Trueb placed second in the state’s diving championships before taking the title as a sophomore, then moving.
While Trueb said the competition in Colorado is significantly more challenging, especially at the 5A level where the Lewis-Palmer/Palmer Ridge co-op competes, she’s still thriving.
The junior unveiled a new dive and scored a new best of 539.75 to win the Lewis-Palmer Diving Invite on Saturday in a field that featured roughly 15 of last year's state qualifiers, leading the Rangers to a team win and earning her Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Week.
“You’re actually coming back at the board, coming back one and a half times and twisting one and a half times,” Ranger coach Alan Arata said of the new dive.
“Her twisting categories are a very high degree of difficulty.”
It wasn’t just new to competition.
“No, not at all,” answered Trueb when asked if she was confident attempting the dive in a meet. “I was really scared. I’ve only done that dive like twice before.”
It earned 7.5s from the judges, she said.
Arata added that Trueb’s ability to stick dives across the five categories - forward, backward, reverse, inward and twisting - allows her to separate herself from most competitors.
“I know right now she has the most degree of difficulty in the state, but the most degree of difficulty in the state only works as long as you have beautiful lines going in the water, and she can do that, too,” Arata said.
“That kinda makes her the whole thing.”
Fortunately for Arata and the Rangers, a couple of the competitors who have the ability to score with Trueb practice on the same board.
Teammate Anna Kemper was second at Saturday’s meet with a score of 520.25 and finished fourth at state last year, while Ashlyn Foster was fourth.
“It was pretty close,” Trueb said. “We push each other a lot because we’re very competitive.”
With gymnastics out of the picture, Trueb committed to diving. She participates on the club level with Colorado Springers, which gives her some exposure to platform diving, and hopes to compete at the college level in a couple years.
A strong showing at the upcoming Pikes Peak Athletic Conference and state meets wouldn’t hurt those prospects, and her coach believes she can compete with anyone in a volatile sport where one poorly timed slip and cost a diver the chance to contend for a title.
“I think she could win,” Arata said. “She could finish fifth. At the state meet, she could finish 10th. I mean, who knows. If she dives the way she can dive, then she can win.”
Not bad for someone who’s learning not to land on her feet.
“It was probably going in head first,” said Trueb of the biggest adjustment.
“It’s good if you have some gymnastics background for flips and twists, but there’s so much different, like you have to be really close to the board and know how to use the board.”
Other Peak Performers
Girls' swimming and diving
Amira O'Sullivan, Fountain-Fort Carson
O'Sullivan, a sophomore, helped the Trojans sprint past Sierra Grande and Pueblo East in Thursday's triangular, won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races. She took the 200 in 2 minutes, 24.69 seconds and the 500 in 6:35.23.
Madi Wriedt, Rampart
The senior has helped the Rams turn their season around after a 4-9 start. Rampart has won three straight, including a big game against Coronado on Tuesday when Wriedt had 12 points, 12 rebounds and a block. Saturday, she scored 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting with 14 rebounds.
Joe Golden, Doherty basketball
The senior forward's efficiency went a long way in helping the Spartans remain unbeaten in Colorado Springs Metro League play. Golden made 7 of 10 from the field, including two 3-pointers, to finish with 18 points and 15 rebounds in a double-overtime win at Fountain-Fort Carson. Thursday, he hit all four of his shots, scoring 1o points and grabbing nine rebounds in a three-point win over Liberty.
Aidan Johnston, The Classical Academy
The 113-pounder led the Titans to a 3-0 showing at the James Irwin quadrangular on Saturday. Johnston won all three of his matches - two tech falls and a pin - and improved his record to 23-6 on the season.
Cameron Gillis and Andrew Santos, Pine Creek
The players each scored two goals and added an assist as the Eagles gave Resurrection Christian all it could handle in an 8-7 loss on Friday. Santos scored the game’s final two goals, while Gillis tallied a short-handed goal in a tie with Liberty on Monday.