Do you have a dream destination, a place you haven't been?
I want to go to Australia one day. It's a really long flight, but one day I'll get there.
When did you start diving?
Fall of my freshman year of high school. I did gymnastics before that and ended up stopping in eighth grade. When I got to high school, I met a girl who used to go to the same gym and she had transitioned to diving in high school. She got me into it.
What's the most challenging thing about diving?
The mental part of it. We have 1 meter, which is about 3 feet, and then 3 meters, about 9 feet, so getting yourself to go off into water where you know that you have only a certain amount of control [is tough]. If something goes wrong, you could smack your front, smack your back and get a little sunburn kind of thing. What helps me is just telling myself that I've done this for a few years. It's not a new dive most of the time that I'm worried about. Just every day in practice, thinking you've done this before, you're going to be fine.
What’s your mindset? With other sports, a lot of your preparation is for the opponent but with diving, you get scored on your performance.
I was talking about this with one of my roommates the other day because she's on Lehigh’s basketball team. We were talking about how different it is in an individual sport or a team sport. Diving, you don't have to think about defense at all, which is a huge part of a lot of other sports. During the meets, I just focus on myself. I just tell myself what I have to do for every dive, not, “I have to get this many points.” I know that works for some people, knowing where they are at each stage, every dive. I don't think about it. I try to put the least amount of pressure on myself that I can because with school and everything, there's already so much pressure, so I want diving to still be fun and not as much pressure as school. I just focus on my dive, focus on getting through it safely, not getting injured and then whatever happens, happens.
You did gymnastics for six years, when did you start?
Second grade. That's really little, but I got into gymnastics because I was on a little cheerleading squad and they told me that I had to learn how to do a back handspring and they couldn't teach me. I had to go to a gym and learn. I went to Parkettes [a gymnastics training center in Allentown, Pennsylvania,] and I loved it. … In eighth grade, gymnastics was just a lot, and I wasn't feeling that I'd have a future with it. I wasn't loving it anymore. I wasn't having fun. And going into high school I heard about all these things I could try, all these sports that they had, so many clubs compared to middle school. I didn’t see myself really continuing longer or going to college for gymnastics, so I got out of it.
Has gymnastics helped when it comes to diving?
Definitely. It's really similar. The only difference is in gymnastics you don't go in headfirst. That's the only thing that you have to learn, get used to going in headfirst, because usually head landings mean bad news in gymnastics. But in diving, it’s okay.
With gymnastics it doesn’t sound like you had a lot of time, but did you play other sports growing up?
I didn't do much. I played soccer when I was little but that was about it. I did a little bit of dance. In high school I did one season of cross country and I did track and field for three years.
What's your favorite sport?
I still love watching gymnastics. I don't catch much of the international competitions besides the Olympics, but I see clips come up on my Instagram and YouTube and I love watching them. I obviously have to watch the Olympics because it's so much fun. The energy for that is just crazy.
You finished third in the state diving championships your senior year of high school. Is that your proudest athletic achievement so far?
My proudest achievement is when I broke Lehigh’s record on 1 meter this past year because, in high school, that was always my goal and I didn't get to do it. … I'm glad that I broke it. It was really exciting.