Steamboat’s Bradley jumps back into title contention |

Steamboat’s Bradley jumps back into title contention

Dave Shively

Steamboat Springs — Some learning curves are steeper than others. — Some learning curves are steeper than others.

— Some learning curves are steeper than others.

It took Steamboat Springs’ Genna Bradley all of six months to learn to dive proficiently – that is, proficiently enough to win the Western Slope regional meet last season with an 11-dive score that broke Moffat County High School’s record and qualified her as Steamboat’s first state meet entrant.

She missed state finals by only two points. This year, Bradley is setting the bar even higher.

“I went to a diving camp at Air Force this summer and learned a lot of the hard dives there, so now it’s all about perfecting them,” said Bradley, who attends Steamboat Springs High School and commutes to compete on the Moffat County girls swimming and diving team as its lone diver. “I’m really excited to get my first meet under my belt now that I have the experience. State keeps me motivated. Hopefully, I can do better this year and make the finals.”

Steamboat’s Dave Fix, who introduced Bradley to the sport and now helps her with individual instruction, said that this year, the pair will not be looking just at state qualification, but beyond.

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“The difference is that we’re starting with all the dives this year,” Fix said. “It’s a matter of fine-tuning and tweaking, whereas last year, it was just learning.”

Bradley already has a full list of higher difficulty degree dives (with larger point-earning potential) ready for state or any other qualifying 11-dive meets. The list includes reverse, back and inward 1 1/2-rotation dives as well as a full-twisting front 1 1/2-rotation dive.

“The No. 1 thing is you’ve got an extreme athletic talent like you wouldn’t believe, and No. 2, her heart’s into it, she enjoys it and she’s constantly working to get better,” Fix said.

Marin Campbell, Moffat County’s Steamboat-based head girls swimming and diving coach, said that after the team’s first relay meet last week, she will be excited to see Bradley dive. And at the Montrose meet today and Saturday, swimmers including junior Kelsey Pierson, another Routt County transplant, will compete in the individual and relay events they hope to compete in at the state level.

Campbell thought Pierson’s greatest contributions likely would be a spot on the Bulldogs’ 4-by-100 yard freestyle relay and possibly a breaststroke spot on the medley relay.

“She actually just stopped by and mentioned how she appreciated getting pushed this season and that she felt like she was improving,” Campbell said of Pierson. “She knew it would be challenging and wanted to take it on.”