Diving at Colorado Mesa University is an opportunity that not many students take advantage of. There are 15 total members of the dive team, one, in particular, is Kelsey Vreeman a sophomore at CMU who has been diving for five years and made it to nationals last March as a freshman.
Vreeman was originally a gymnast who went into diving because of the movements being similar.
“Coming into college I had no experience in three-meter and was more confident on one meter but my results showed better on three meters,” Vreeman said.
Vreeman had no experience on the three-meter when she came to CMU to start diving. That didn’t stop her from going to nationals though. Vreeman put in extra hours and it showed.
“At nationals, I ended up doing better on three-meter and got top eight and ended up sixth for three meters,” Vreeman said.
Vreeman didn’t expect to do as well on three-meter. She would stay extra hours to get the dive correct and ready for competition because all the dives are practiced over and over again during practice. At the meet, though there is only one opportunity to get that dive right, so all the work goes in during practice.
“When everyone else had more experience, it made me push myself more. I come to practice every day with a clear mind and dive my best,” Vreeman said.
That clear mind has helped her to come in and compete at the highest level.
“Every day is different, you have to come in and get your dives off and practice like you compete,” Vreeman said.
By having this mentality, it allowed for Vreeman to see each practice dive as a dive that could be seen by judges at a meet. Having that outlook makes the diver ensure that their dive will be the best it possibly can.
The season is very long.
If the diver doesn’t make it to nationals, then the season ends in February however, if the diver does make it to nationals the season will last until March.
These divers practice five days a week in the morning and in the afternoon totaling around two and a half to three and a half hours a day. This allows for CMU to stand out amongst their competitors because they are putting in so many more hours making them one of the best in the country.
“The end result is to make this program look like a better program,” Vreeman said. “Because we brought the most to nationals last year from Colorado.”
Vreeman talked a lot about how mindset is key for her in diving and how it has allowed for her to go as far as she has and she plans to go even further. She has broken two school records, one pool record, finished fifth at the RMAC last year and finished sixth at nationals last year.
“You have to have the mindset and you have to want it,” Vreeman said.
Vreeman seems to want it and she can thank her team who she loves so much and her coach who has pushed her to get the level she is at currently. The coach has instilled a lot of confidence and drive in Vreeman which has helped her on her journey.
“It’s really intimidating some days and you have one chance to make it at the meet and you have to remember why you are doing it,” Vreeman said. “I love it.”