Decatur diver ready for state

Decatur senior diver Christina Hussong is returning to the state diving championships this weekend for the fourth consecutive year. Hussong finished third last year, sixth her sophomore year and ninth her freshman year. If everything goes as she plans, Hussong will move up three more places again this year. She is coming off victories at the district meet a week ago and at Friday’s District 3 State Allocation Meet.

Question:How did you start diving?

Answer:I first swam for four years but my dad asked if I wanted to try diving so I tried the sport and quit swimming and moved over to diving.

Q. Why did it interest you?

A. In swimming there was only four different strokes and in diving there are over 60 different dives you can do just on springboard and even more if you dive platform. The bottom line, it seemed like a challenge and I always look for ways to challenge myself.

Q. What’s the most fun part of it?

A. The most fun part of diving is the traveling and competing.

Q. What’s the hardest part?

A. The hardest part is dealing with failure because only a set amount of people qualify for the top meets and there is a lot of talent out there to compete with.

Q. How do you feel about the state meet this year?

A. Ahhh! Does that say enough? I am definitely nervous but I am also pretty confident that I will do well if I stay consistent. I still have competition this year and that is mostly from Lindsay Draper from Woodinville High School. I am just trying to keep positive and stay on top of my game.

Q. What do you have to do to win state this year?

A. This year consistency is definitely going to determine the winner of state. Many divers have a difficult list (of dives) but the one who pulls off consistent 6 to 6 1/2 scores will most likely win. For myself, I just need to concentrate on beating myself and not my competitors, focus on my diving and not worry about what everyone else is doing.

Q. Do you ever get disoriented while spinning through the air during a dive?

A. After practicing so much we tend to know where we are while we are spinning. We keep our eyes open and spot things such as the water to keep track of where we are. When learning a new dive, though, it’s a little difficult and that’s when our coach will yell at us when it’s time to come out of a dive.

Q. How much visualization do you do before a dive? How important is it?

A. Before each dive I visualize because you can see yourself doing a correct dive and that will help you while you’re on the board. Not everyone does this but I believe it is important because if your really nervous for a dive I think it helps me keep calm and stay confident that I can do the next dive well.

Q. How long do you train each day?

A. During high school season I train anywhere from 2 1/2 hours a day to 3 1/2 hours after school. During the school year I train 2 1/2 hours, four days a week. And during the summer I train four hours a day, five days a week.

Q. Do you do any training outside of the water?

A. When we’re not in the water we do something we call dry-land training. This consists of running stairs, tuck kick outs, pike ups, push ups, sit ups, hurdles and flips on mats. A lot of the basics that we tend to overlook while diving are practiced when we’re not in the water.

Q. How small is the difference between an excellent dive and just an OK dive for you?

A. The difference between a good dive and an excellent dive is usually the little things. Like a strong toe point, staying tight while you enter the water, or even a quick swim with the hands as you enter the water. Each little thing adds to big points in the end.

Q. When you are at a lake in the summer, do you ever do cool dives to impress your friends?

A. Ha ha, in the summer we’re usually traveling a lot for diving and I’m gone four weeks straight so if I get to go to the lake that would definitely be the time to just relax and hang out.

Q. Which colleges are you considering?

A. I have been contacted on the phone by a little over 30 coaches. I'm not sure how many exactly are going to offer me any money. I am applying to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Nevada-Reno. I'm also considering Virginia.

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