THORNTON — Ralston Valley junior Izzy Gregersen claimed her first diving state championship during the Class 5A girls swimming and diving state finals Friday, Feb. 14. Gregersen already had a pair …
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THORNTON — Ralston Valley junior Izzy Gregersen claimed her first diving state championship during the Class 5A girls swimming and diving state finals Friday, Feb. 14.
Gregersen already had a pair of top-10 finishes — 3rd in 2019 and 7th in 2018 — under her belt. While she admitted there was a bit of pressure being the favorite heading to the finals at the VMAC in Thornton, the junior’s main focus is clear.
“I want to do well,” Gregersen said after the prelims and semifinals held Thursday, Feb. 13. “We’ll see how it turns out. I’ll come in, do my best and have fun with everybody.”
Everything turned out gold for Gregersen. The junior amassed 497.45 points to have a 10.05 margin over Horizon senior Ally Brown.
During the prelims and semifinals held Thursday morning Gregersen was in the center of the action at the VMAC. She had a chair set up right in the middle of the pool deck between the three diving boards talking many of the other 43 5A divers that qualified to state during the eight rounds of dives.
Gregersen finished the semifinals first with a point total of 351.1. Heritage senior Grace Downing was a close second with 348.6 going to the finals. Downing eventually finished eighth.
“It’s really just fun to be out here. I’m used to diving club,” said Gregersen, who is ranked nationally. “I find it more fun and laid back.”
Ralston Valley had the largest contingent of divers than any 5A program. The Mustangs qualified six — Gregersen, Jordan Okamoto, Payton Roberts, Kelly Heald, Gigi Borghi and Sophie Trudell — to the state meet.
Okamoto and Roberts both finished in the top-20. Okamoto placed 10th and Roberts took 17th.
“I love hanging out with Payton (Roberts) and Jordan (Okamoto). They make diving more fun,” Gregersen said. “I also enjoy hanging out with the other teams and getting to know them.”
Roberts a senior and three-sport athlete — gymnastics, diving and track — has already signed to dive at the University of Idaho. Okamoto has a bright future ahead as just a sophomore.
Gregersen has a chance next year to be a two-time state champion before heading onto the college ranks. Gregersen says that she has talked to a few schools, but hasn’t narrowed down her list of colleges yet.
Dennis Pleuss is a media specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com
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