Four former Lewis-Palmer High School gymnasts who are now divers hope to twist, tuck and pike their way to prominence at this week’s Class 5A state meet.
Seniors Megan DuMond and Emily Cook, along with sophomores Dahlia Allen and Ashley Griffith will compete for top honors Thursday and Friday at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.
The top 16 divers will place.
“The divers at state are all so good,” said DuMond, who recently signed her national letter of intent with the Air Force Academy.
DuMond is headed to an Air Force program that has two former Lewis-Palmer divers — freshmen Ashlyn Foster and Anna Kemper.
“It will be nice already knowing somebody over there,” said DuMond, who plans to pursue a career path in the medical field.
Lewis-Palmer assistant dives coach Alan Arata said DuMond has come a long way since taking up the sport less than two years ago.
“She was a gymnast, and what she brings to the program is coachability and a desire to be great,” he said. “That’s rare these days.
“All that she has done and all she has inside of her will make her a great cadet.”
Rick French is another assistant dives coach who has worked tirelessly with the girls.
“They all work so hard,” French said. “No matter how we finish at state it’s been a successful year.”
DuMond is second on L-P (seventh in the state) in her 6-dive score heading into the state meet with 468.30 points. Allen is first on the Rangers (fourth in state) with 482.45.
“(Dahlia) Allen is great,” DuMond said. “If I was going to lose to anybody I’d want it to be her.”
Allen is competing in her first year as a diver. She earned her high score at the Cheyenne Mountain Invite on Dec. 21.
“I got injured a lot in gymnastics so I switched to diving and I really love it,” Allen said. “I’m really excited to be a part of the high school team and competing at state.
Allen said she never anticipated having this much success so quickly.
“I knew that being a gymnast would probably help me, but I’m really surprised at how well I fit in.”
Cook has been diving for almost three years and has the most experience on the team. She qualified for state as a sophomore, but could not compete last year because of injuries. She ranks third on the team (24th in the state) with a top score of 372.60.
Cook is a member of the school’s cheer squad that competed at the state meet in December. She also is a sprinter on the Lewis-Palmer track and field team.
“I need to dive clean and have really pretty entries and good board work,” said Cook.
Griffith competed at state as a freshman last year. She feels that experience has helped in her development. She ranks fourth on the Rangers (33rd in the state) with 326 points.
“Last year during the state meet I felt a little off and I was focusing on the basics of diving,” Griffith said. “One thing I did learn is if you’re making corrections, make them before state so you can dive the best you can.”
All four girls have hopes to advance to Day 2 of the state meet.