While the rest of the women’s swimming and diving team was at home this weekend, sophomore diver Kristen Rayhack continued her season at the U.S. Naval Academy in the NCAA Regional Diving Qualifier.
Unfortunately for Rayhack, recent injuries got the best of her and held her to finishes of 27th in the 1-meter dive and 23rd in the 3-meter dive.
Only three weeks ago, Rayhack competed at the Ivy League Championships, posting a score of 476.95 in the 3-meter, earning her first place and the award of 2004 Ivy League Diver of the Meet. She was the first Cornell woman to win the award since 1992 and only the third women to have won it in the history of Cornell diving.
“Things started to come together about three weeks before the Ivies,” said diving coach Rick Gilbert. “She was starting to be much more consistent in her workouts.”
After the Ivies, Rayhack began to focus on the regional qualifiers, with her practice schedule remaining at an intense level. She was practicing twice a day, while performing about 40 or 50 dives per session.
But, while Gilbert was away with the men’s team at the EISL Championships, Rayhack had an unfortunate accident during practice.
The sophomore diver slipped off the board and suffered several injuries that without a doubt had an effect on her performance this past weekend. Rayhack severely bruised her left knee, strained her right quadriceps, and sprained her right ankle. She also scraped a significant amount of skin off of her right foot and her toes.
Rayhack was forced to rely on crutches to get around over the weekend and attempted to resume training on Tuesday. Yet she was able to perform just 15 dives from 1-meter before she had to call it quits on account of the pain.
On Wednesday, Rayhack was still not practicing at full capacity, as she was only able to dive about 30 times from 3-meters. On Thursday, she had an x-ray done on her ankle, but the results came back negative.
Since the ankle was not broken, Rayhack wanted to give it a try at the qualifiers. However, she strained her right thigh on her last dive from 1-meter. She performed all six of her dives from 3-meters, without warming up.
“She just had not been diving,” said Gilbert. “She was working out twice a day before she was injured and then all of sudden, she did not do anything for several days. She wanted to go and give it a try anyways. She was just out of practice. She wasn’t diving enough and there was not anything we could do about it.”
Despite the less than stellar performance at the regional qualifiers, Gilbert is very pleased with Rayhack’s season as a whole.
“I think she had a great season,” said Gilbert. “It was a shame she had an injury at that point in time. But, I told her before the Ivies that I thought she was still a year away. I think she is going to be incredible next year.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper