Windsor’s Eckhardt places sixth in Class 4A state diving championships
February 12, 2011
LOVELAND -Mikhaila Eckhardt learned the hard way that defending a state title isn’t easy.
The junior diver from Windsor High School came into the Class 4A 1-meter diving event as one of the favorites.
Eckhardt, 17, ended up posting her lowest score in an 11-dive meet and finished sixth at the 2011 Colorado Girls Swim and Dive State Championships at Mountain View Aquatic Center on Saturday.
“This was probably my worst meet out of my entire season,” Echkhardt said. “It’s really hard to know that you could have been up there with at least top three, and then all your hard work is just …”
Eckhardt’s voice trailed off.
Last year at this time when Eckhardt was celebrating the school’s first-ever state title in diving, no one knew about Alexa Beckwith of St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood. Beckwith, who has been diving for four years, entered the state meet with the best score of the season. She finished ahead of Eckhardt and won the Dick Rush Coaches Invitational on Dec. 18 at the same venue in Loveland.
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Beckwith, 15, was just an eighth-grader last year, but the freshman took the state’s diving world by storm this season and easily won the state title with a score of 440.50. The runner-up was sophomore Maia Presti of Fountain Valley, who was the only other diver to crack 400 points with a score of 401.56. Eckhardt finished with a total of 378.35.
“There is good competition coming in every year, and all these divers are great divers,” Beckwith said. “You’ve just got to try your hardest and do your best.”
Loveland’s Thompson Valley (319 points) won the team title for the second straight year, easily distancing itself from state runner-up D’Evelyn (227).
A deeply disappointed Eckhardt said she felt the pressure of trying to defend her state title, but she said she didn’t let it get to her.
Eight dives were scored in the preliminary round Saturday morning and three dives were scored in the afternoon finals. All scores for 11 dives were compiled, so the first dive is just as important as the 11th dive.
“It usually takes me like one or two dives to get into the competition, but I just never did it,” Eckhardt said.
Eckhardt said she needs to increase her degree of difficulty in the 1-meter dive for next season.
Wizards diving coach Sarah Easter said it’s never easy going home without a state title after winning it a year ago.
“It’s hard to walk into a state meet when you won it last year. I think where her disappointment comes from is because it was her lowest scoring meet of the year,” Easter said. “People do have expectations of her. It’s always nice to be the winner, but if we have good sportsmanship, if we have good leadership and we’re working hard, that’s what I expect of her to accomplish those things.”
Easter said diving in the early morning prelims does take some divers a couple of dives to get focused.
“The first dive is very important because it gets you off to a good start and gets your confidence going,” Easter said. “There is a lot of talent at this meet. The pool of talent that is in the state for 4A right now is very, very good. There are six or seven girls that have the potential and talent to win this meet.”
Easter said Eckhardt matured as a person and team leader this season.
“We’re so proud of the person that she’s become and the young woman that she’s maturing into,” Easter said. “Today is disappointing because she didn’t place as high as she wanted to, but we’re so proud of the person that she is. She’s really stepping up as a leader on our team.”
Wizards head coach Kevin Scott said this year’s field of divers was much tougher than last year’s group.
“I think there was a lot of pressure on her being a returning state champion, having somebody ahead of her that had higher degree of difficulty and the field was a lot tighter,” Scott said. “Last year, Mikhaila had the meet of her life at this meet. State meet is tough competition. You have to perform consistently all season long, and the you have to come in and perform again the last meet of the year. She performed consistently all season long, and unfortunately she had a bad day the last meet of the year.”
STATE NOTES: Windsor’s other placers were: Maddi Evans (100-yard freestyle, 13th), Kaitlyn Roush (200 individual medley, 15th), Evans, Roush, Danielle Coonrod and Sara Romme (400 freestyle relay, 13th, and 200 medley relay, 15th). Coonrod’s the only senior, so the Wizards have a strong nucleus back with Evans, Roush, Romme and Eckhardt. “This year we pushed ourselves forward coming together and interacting as a team,” Scott said. “Next year we have to push our team forward. We have to have better performances earlier so we can have better performances later. They’re going to have to do some stuff to push themselves forward skill-wise and physically.”
2011 Class 4A Colorado Girls Swim and Dive State Championships
1, Thompson Valley 319; 2, D’Evelyn 227; 3, Montrose 201; 4, Cheyenne Mountain 205; 5, Broomfield 190; 6, Mountain View 126; 7, Pueblo South 107; 8, Coronado 104; 9, Niwot 103.5; 10, Mullen 86.
TOP 3 (plus Windsor placers)
200-yard medley relay – 1, Thompson Valley, 1:49.13; 2, Montrose, 1:49.49; 3, Broomfield, 1:50.12; 15, WINDSOR (DANIELLE COONROD, KAITLYN ROUSH, SARA ROMME, MADDI EVANS), 2:00.10.
200 freestyle – 1, Lexie Malazdrewicz, Evergreen, 1:52.78; 2, Ashley Forsyth, Cheyenne Mountain, 1:54.68; 3, Colleen Olson, D’Evelyn, 1:56.26.
200 individual medley – 1, Mackenzie Stein, Green Mountain, 2:02.33 (4A state record); 2, Jessi Modlich, Thompson Valley, 2:09.91; 3, Katalena Laufasa-Duncan, Broomfield, 2:10.76; 15, KAITLYN ROUSH, WINDSOR, 2:19.88.
50 freestyle – 1, Emily Stucky, Montrose, 24.35; 2, Mary Saiz, Pueblo South, 24.74; 3, Marina Fonseca, Thompson Valley, 24.93.
1-meter diving – 1, Alexa Beckwith, St. Mary’s Academy, 440.50; 2, Maia Presti, Fountain Valley, 401.56; 3, Erin Chavet, Thompson Valley, 395.10; 6, MIKHAILA ECKHARDT, WINDSOR, 378.35.
100 butterfly – 1, Mackenzie Stein, Green Mountain, 55.64 (4A state record); 2, Sam Moss, Thompson Valley, 58.59; 3, Andrea Rice, Air Academy, 58.72.
100 freestyle – 1, Emily Stucky, Montrose, 52.55; 2, Heather Shaver, Broomfield, 53.76; 3, Colleen Olson, D’Evelyn, 54.07; 13, MADDI EVANS, WINDSOR, 56.22.
500 freestyle – 1, Lexie Malazdrewicz, Evergreen, 5:02.60; 2, Danielle Wahl, Cheyenne Mountain, 5:06.50; 3, Ashley Forsyth, Cheyenne Mountain, 5:08.78.
200 freestyle relay – 1, Thompson Valley, 1:39.55; 2, D’Evelyn, 1:40.05; 3, Niwot, 1:40.10.
100 backstroke – 1, Mary Saiz, Pueblo South, 56.90; 2, Katalena Laufasa-Duncan, Broomfield, 59.00; 3, Jessi Modlich, Thompson Valley, 59.02.
100 breaststroke – 1, Logan Morris, Montrose, 1:05.14; 2, Kellyn Craig, Denver South, 1:05.96; 3, Heather Shaver, Broomfield, 1:07.57.
400 freestyle relay – 1, D’Evelyn, 3:36.36; 2, Montrose, 3:36.60; 3, Thompson Valley, 3:38.03; 13, WINDSOR (MADDI EVANS, SARA ROMME, DANIELLE COONROD, KAITLYN ROUSH), 3:53.93.