NT diver impresses at state, wins individual medal

Jessie Creed wins individual state diving title second year in a row

Danielle Kurensky

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Jessie Creed won individual state for diving for the second year in a row with a score of 479.1 points.

Creed, who is currently a junior, has been diving since before she can remember.

“My mom likes to tell the story that when I was two I was doing flips off of our diving board” said Creed, who didn’t start diving competitively until she was eight.

Creed said, “We were at a pool and there was a sign that said come try diving. My mom asked if I wanted to try it for real instead of the backyard and I said sure.”

This was just the beginning of Creed’s diving career.

After a successful season last year, that ended in a state title, Creed did feel some pressure entering this season.“Last year I did have an undefeated season, so I came into this season knowing that and having that on my back and I did feel the pressure. Ultimately, you just have to relax and realize that you are diving for fun and not for anything else” said Creed.

During the beginning of the season, Creed faced her largest challenge of the season, New Trier’s diving coach Bruce Kimball was on leave to deal with a family emergency.

After three days without a coach, the team received a temporary coach.

Although Creed had worked with this coach before, she felt he was not as adept as Kimball. “He knows diving, but not on a good level. So the dive team and I just kind of coached each other and helped each other through it” said Creed.

Kimball, who won a silver medal for the ten meter platform during the 1984 Olympics, has been coaching diving at New Trier for 24 years and has worked with Creed for three of those years. Once Kimball returned he began training with Creed again.

 

“We worked on a list of dives with a higher degree of difficulty. We also worked on improving her technique on her reverse one and a half somersault pike and her back one and a half somersault with one and a half twists” said Kimball.

Kimball also notes that Creed’s success is due in large part to her work ethic. “Jessie is an extremely hard worker and sets a high standard for herself every day. She leads by example and raises the quality of the practice for others in her group” said Kimball.

Sophomore Katie Lipsey, who finished second at state, agrees that Creed has a positive impact on the rest of the team. “She’s always there for me and everyone on the team whether they’re afraid to do a dive or just need a friend and she’s the best teammate. She’ll encourage you and cheer for you no matter what dive you are doing” said Lipsey.

Creed talked with Lipsey before she went on to place second at state. “Before the state meet we were in the hallway and she gave me a big pep talk. She told me to stay calm and focus and we will both do amazing if we just believe in ourselves” said Lipsey.

Hard work combined with this confidence lead Creed and Lipsey to score 29 points at state. These points were 31% of New Trier’s total which landed them fifth place overall.

Although diving is Creed’s passion, it can be difficult to balance diving and her school work. “It is very difficult. It is a lot easier during the school season than during club. Last year my club was in the city and so I would be leaving at like 2:50 to take the train and leave my school bag with my mom and then not getting back until 9:00 and having all of my school work to do. I really struggled last year with that, but this year I have been doing a lot better,” said Creed.

Creed is currently looking at colleges where she can continue her love of diving, ideally a Division One school. Creed’s favorite part about diving though is the way it makes her feel. “My favorite part is just being in the air and feeling like you are flying” said Creed.

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