Sports Briefs: Steamboat diver grabs 2nd at championship meet |

Sports Briefs: Steamboat diver grabs 2nd at championship meet

— Genna Bradley said she’d never experienced anything like it, standing atop the 1-meter diving board at the state diving championships in Loveland with a lead late in the competition.

“I’ve never felt my heart beat faster in my life,” said the Steamboat Springs High School senior, who competes for Moffat County High School. “It was an experience I’d never fathomed before. I could hear my heartbeat outside my chest when I got to the top of the board.”

The experience was at the time nerve-racking and later wonderful, she said, even though she finished just short in a hair-raising dual. Bradley wrapped up her high school diving career with a second-place finish. Her final score of 378.05 was behind that of Windsor High School’s Mikhaila Eckhardt’s 396.85.

Eckhardt had the lead after the preliminary and semifinals rounds, but she left an open door, and Bradley dove through it early in the finals, taking a lead early in the three-dive final frame.

She couldn’t hold on, however. It may have had a little to do with that heartbeat, which, the way Bradley described it, might have been audible from Steamboat.

“I’d never really experienced that kind of pressure before, and that’s what threw me,” she said. “I threw my dives harder than I should have. My 10th dive went over, and I had a big splash. Then on my last dive I had trouble finding where to stop. I had so much adrenaline I went really big and spun really fast, but that threw me off, and I had another big splash.”

It was disappointing, she said, but hardly enough of a letdown to ruin memories of her final season and her final high school performance.

Bradley said she plans to continue her career next year in college at the University of Hawaii or at Arizona State.

“It was an amazing season. I really accomplished what I wanted to,” she said. “Obviously, there was a little disappointment, but it was really close the entire time. I came out of little Steamboat Springs as a diver and made a name for myself, and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Alpine skiers ready for Junior Olympics in March

With the Junior Olympics looming early next month, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club J3 Alpine team put together a solid weekend of results with an eye on the big prize, coach Rob Worrell said.

Eleven athletes will represent the squad at the JOs, which start March 5 at Vail and Beaver Creek. Alex Barounos, Keegan Millard, Devin Dejong, David Kidd, Nate Bowman, Chandler Sedberry, Vreni Lupear, Serina Kidd, Sammy Stamp, Kate Cooper and Katie Arnis will ski for Steamboat.

“It’s a trend that we’re getting stronger as a program,” Worrell said. “The J3 level is really competitive, right. It’s tough.”

Steamboat’s J3 skiers, ages 13 and 14, shined in a four-race J3 set last weekend in Winter Park. There were two slalom races and two giant slalom events.

Millard had one of the team’s top finishes, sliding in at sixth in a slalom race. Barounos also skied well, racking up a fifth, a 10th and a 14th.

“Keegan is coming on and becoming a really impressive athlete. He’s a huge talent,” Worrell said. “Then Alex, he’s just a super good skier. He has the potential to get on the podium at J3 JOs.”

Sedberry was one of Steamboat’s top girls, finishing seventh twice and 12th once. Lupear was sixth twice, ninth once and 12th in her final race. Kidd was sixth once, eighth twice and 14th.

“We’ve had a really strong season, and everyone is really committed and working hard,” Worrell said. “We see a lot more commitment to the program and attention to details. These kids are developing a passion for the sport. That’s great to see.”

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