During her sophomore season, Marysville Getchell diver Courtney Moss broke her foot the day before the district tournament, abruptly ending her season.
This year, Getchell swimming coach Jaci Legore Hodgins didn’t take any chances.
After hitting the water hard on a dive a few weeks ago, Hodgins decided to rest Moss, now a junior, before this year’s district tournament, which begins with the preliminaries Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School.
Moss jammed the arch of her back while executing a dive in practice, creating what she called a “back sprain.” Hodgins used that as an excuse to have Moss take a little break before the postseason began.
“We want to give her back a rest,” Hodgins said. “It could be a hidden blessing. It will give her body and her mind a chance to recover.”
Last year it was Moss’ foot that threw a wrinkle in her plans. While practicing a dive, she hit the bottom of the pool and rolled her ankle.
“It was bad,” Hodgins said. “It was one of the weirdest ways you could hit the bottom.”
Moss, who holds both Getchell diving records, still accompanied her team to the district tournament the next day and cheered the Chargers on. Even after suffering her injury, Moss couldn’t imagine not diving. As soon as she healed, she was back in the water, training in Federal Way year round.
“Ever since I tried diving I never wanted to stop. I just want to keep diving,” Moss said. “No injury could ever stop me from doing it anymore.”
Despite all of the time it takes up, diving isn’t the only extracurricular activity for Moss, who is also a cheerleader at Getchell. She’s looking at going to college — two schools she listed as favorites were the University of Southern California and the University of Hawaii — where she wants to study physical therapy.
She also wants to continue both activities, cheerleading and diving, beyond high school. Moss can’t decide which one she enjoys more.
“It’s a tie,” she said.
As a team captain, Moss will serve as both star diver and head cheerleader for the Getchell swim and dive team as it looks to make a splash at the district tournament. Moss is looking even farther than that, hoping to get to the state tournament that takes place in Federal Way, where she’s been training.
“I want to finish as best as I can,” Moss said. “Just do my best.”
Hodgins believes that Moss, who she says is one of the top 10 divers in the state, will continue to excel.
“I think she’ll do fantastic. She is determined to do well, no matter what,” Hodgins said. “And we have all the faith in the world that she will.”
How dive scoring works
• Diving is the fifth event of the meet. As a result, the lane separators and electronic cords for the lanes must be disconnected and removed from the pool so that there are no obstacles to interfere with the diver.
• Officials ask for absolute quiet while diving is going on, so that the divers can concentrate.
• There are six-set dives and 11-set dives, depending on the meet. At the state tournament, it is an 11-set dive, meaning an athlete executes 11 dives to comprise her final score.
• Dives are judged by officials, swim and dive coaches and, in the case of Getchell’s last dual league meet of the season, star divers who are nursing sore backs (Moss). They are judged on the degree of difficulty, as well as how successful the diver was in completing the planned dive.
• The highest combined score wins.