Junior divers from across the country compete at Nicholas Recreation Center
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Junior divers from across the country are competing in Madison this week, in hopes of earning a spot in the USA Diving Junior National Championships.
Divers who qualified in the Region 7 and Region 8 Championships are competing in the Zone Championship. Wisconsin Dive Club is hosting the four-day competition at the Soderholm Family Aquatic Center in the Nicholas Recreation Center through Sunday.
Program Director of Wisconsin Dive Club and UW-Madison dive coach Yahya Radman said Madison is one of six cities across the country who are hosting a Zone Championship. Radman said Thursday’s event is fairly large and competitive.
“We just qualified our first kid to nationals at the end of July, Cooper Jedd, and I am absolutely thrilled,” he said. “Today, we have two of our young ladies are gonna be competing in the two other age groups, and this event goes up until Sunday, so I’m very excited.”
Radman said diving is one of the only sports that forces participants to face their fears every day.
“My kids do gymnastics, I get that, but with this sport, every time a parent drops their child off, they know that their child is being trained on how to overcome their fears. And whatever translates into life, usually would start here.”
The Zone Championship is Cooper Jedd’s first national competition. He was the first member of the Wisconsin Dive Club to qualify this week for nationals.
“You can’t just go off the board and just throw your arms and try to do a flip, you have to have great coaching, you have to know what to do,” Jedd said. “It’s super fun, you get wet, it’s not really nerve-racking, like you’ll have fun, there’s some moments you’ll get hurt, there’s some moments you’ll just have fun, it’s perfectly fine.”
The top ten divers from this week’s competition will continue on to nationals.
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