Pamplin finishes ninth at West Nationals
May 07, 2014As a diver, eleventh-grader Taylor Pamplin is a member of the Escondido Charter High School swim team. Pamplin missed the White Tigers' April 24 meet at Ramona due to practice that day at the West Nationals meet. The actual competition at the Riverside Community College pool took place April 25-27, and Pamplin scored 400.50 points on ten dives to place ninth.
"I'm very excited because I've never placed that high ever at a national championship," Pamplin said. "I'm really proud of myself."
Pamplin was one of 30 divers in the girls 16-18 division. The top twelve received medals.
"She did great," said Escondido Charter diving coach John Philips. "They're very good divers, and for her to be right in the mix and competitive with all of them was amazing."
Philips noted that all of the divers had previously qualified for the meet. "You're talking about the top who are already at nationals," he said.
"This is a high-pressure event," Philips said. "These are kids who have been on the national team for years."
In addition to the Southern California competitors, the divers traveled to Riverside from Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, and Arizona. "You're competing against the best girls in the nation," Pamplin said.
The West Nationals meet also included top-level judges. "High school diving is actually scored pretty high and club diving is more neutral," Pamplin said.
That explains why Pamplin's 10-dive score of 400.50 didn't match her 11-dive total of 472.20 points at the April 12 high school meet in Fallbrook. Pamplin's two high school diving performances surrounding the West Nationals were both six-dive events; she dove at Escondido Charter's April 17 meet against Del Norte and joined the Poway and Mt. Carmel divers for the April 30 meet at the Poway High School pool between the Titans and Sundevils.
While Pamplin's score at the West Nationals thus was not of concern, she considered her ability to adjust to the recommendations of her club coach to be an accomplishment. "If I make the correction he wants me to make I'm pretty happy with myself," she said.
"We really try to make that correction at practice," Pamplin said. "He really wants to see it at the meet."
Pamplin trains with the Mission Viejo Matadors diving club.
Philips noted that Pamplin placed ahead of some divers who had previously outscored her. "Since September she's just taken off as a diver," Philips said.