Diving In

Carie Kuehn photos/Clinton HeraldAllison Hasenmiller performs a dive during a home meet. Hasenmiller is a Central DeWitt senior who has been swimming with the River Queens throughout high school.

Clinton swimming celebrated their Senior Night on Tuesday, and one of those seniors was Allison Hasenmiller.

Hasenmiller serves as the River Queens’ only diver, and has since her sophomore year. She wasn’t quite sure what sport she was going to continue in high school, but thought her background would lend well to some high flying twists and flips.

“After I quit gymnastics in eighth grade, I wanted to keep doing a sport,” Hasenmiller said. “I thought with being a gymnast I could try out diving and see how it went.”

Hasenmiller is actually a student at Central DeWitt High School, which joins with Clinton for swimming and diving. Now that she’s been throwing herself into the water for four years, she’s seeing that she’s making huge strides.

She beat her only other diving opponent on Tuesday, scoring 204 in six dives. That’s nearly 40 points better than her best as a junior, 50 better than her sophomore year, and over 60 points better than her freshman year.

Overall, it’s been a huge experience for her.

“I think it’s all kind of fun,” Hasenmiller said. “Learning new dives can be scary, but then there’s the reward of working hard, nailing a dive, and seeing results at the end of a meet.”

As a gymnast, it only makes sense that her favorite part has been the flipping. But, she’s improved in other areas.

“My approach has come a long way,” Hasenmiller said. “I get more air off the board, and people have said I work the board nicely.”

That’s a bit hard considering she’s working alone quite a bit. Amberly Eshelman was a diver when Hasenmiller was a sophomore, but beyond that she’s been flying solo.

“I kind of make my own game plan and find my own weaknesses, like today I’m going to focus on forward and inward dives,” Hasenmiller said. “I try to coach myself through what I’m doing wrong and how I can fix that.”

Her best so far this year in 11 dives in 265, but she’s still improving. She has a set goal for the end of the season.

“I want to try to break 300 at regionals,” Hasenmiller said. IGHSAU Regional Diving takes place at the end of October. “I also just want to go out and have a good time.”

She’s got to have some new experienced beyond diving as well. As a member of the River Queens, she swims a mix of relays when she’s not doing air acrobatics. It was something she wasn’t really expecting when she decided to try out diving.

“My mom always told me that I was born in the water, but I never did it competitively until they had me swim,” Hasenmiller said. “I didn’t know I would be good at it. I like helping my teammates out. They cheer for me when I dive and I help them out and swim a few races here and there.”

From having no idea what it would be like off the board to having clear cut goals for the postseason dives she’s come a long way. She’s traveled a lot of miles to do it, too, coming from DeWitt for practices. If you ask her, though, she’ll say just one thing:

“It’s totally worth the time driving back and forth. I don’t regret it at all.”