Updated Mon, Jan 30, 2012 9:54 pm
After 11 years and nine levels of competitive gymnastics, including four years of high school diving, freshman diver Haleigh Bartlett has become a major part of the Bobcat swimming and diving team.
In her short time as a Bobcat, Bartlett has already managed to set several Ohio diving records. Currently, Bartlett holds the third and sixth best scores for the one-meter dive as well as the second-best score in the three-meter dive. She has also received honors as MAC Diver of the Week.
In Friday’s meet against West Virginia, Bartlett took first place in the 3-meter dive with a score of 310.95 and second on the 1-meter dive with a 268.80.
But Bartlett was known as a strong diver before her arrival at Ohio University. She was division-1 state champion for her high school, Cuyahoga Falls, last year. Bartlett took the championship with a score of 482.35 to defeat current Bobcat teammate Morgan Srail by only 8.6 points.
Bartlett had placed third in the championships her sophomore year, and second her junior year. She also went undefeated all four years of high school diving.
Bartlett also competed at a national level, placing 15th in the one-meter and 27th on the 3-meter dive.
Amazingly, Bartlett did not begin to dive until September of her freshman year of high school. Bartlett’s mother got her into diving after hearing about a girl on Bartlett’s gymnastics team that also competed in diving.
Bartlett said it’s a lot of the same concepts, with the flips and turns, but there is one key factor, “Its completely different landing on your head compared to landing on your feet.”
Bartlett seems to have adjusted to the change well, and has started a strong career as an Ohio diver. She says her favorite part about being on the team here is the connection between all her fellow divers.
“They are so close… I was not close with my high school team, so having the closeness that we all have is just so much better," Bartlett said.