Good Sports: Fresno State standout reaches new heights
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For being one of the most talented divers in the NCAA, Fresno State sophomore Hannah Prigge sure has an interesting way of showing it.
"I just like to go out and have fun ad smile and laugh at meets," said Prigge. "That keeps me relaxed and honestly I feel like that helps me the most - if I'm just goofy and smiling."
As a freshman last year, Prigge was named Freshman of the Year by her teammates. But the Rocklin, California native wanted more.
"I definitely feel more relaxed and confident," said Prigge. "I think just practicing more and getting stronger is helping a lot too."
"I thought she trained really well this summer," said Women's Swimming and Diving Coach Jeanne Fleck. "I think the freshman jitters are over and she has more confidence in herself, and knows what to expect in the college competitions."
Volunteer Assistant Coach Rachelle Kunkel says Prigge can go as far as she wants in diving. Kunkel was a diver on the 2004 USA Olympic team. She knows a thing or two about the diving.
"She has tons of potential," said Kunkel. "If she sticks with it and she keeps making those changes, she's definitely an NCAA qualifier. And she could definitely be at the top of that if she sticks with it and is confident."
The improvement has been dramatic. She has already set personal bests twice this season, and was named WAC Diver of the Week earlier this month for her achievements. She and fellow standout Bulldog diver Stacey Luke, consistently push each other to newer heights.
"Oh she's done amazing," said Luke. "I'm so proud of her. She's gotten really good. Just the improvement she's made from last year to this year is astounding."
And springboard diving may not be Prigge's best event. She is considered a favorite to win the WAC platform competition in San Antonio this weekend.
"I definitely want to be top three on platform," said Prigge. "I know I have a really good shot. So I just have to be confident, relax, and trust my ability in the dives."
"We're hoping that she can be an NCAA qualifier before she leaves," said Coach Fleck, "and hopefully an all-American if she gets to the meet."
But for now, it's constantly improving, one day at a time, with her trademark smile on her face.
good sports, sports, david bataller
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