Holcom Diving for Records

Posted on January 27, 2011 in News, Winter Sports
Oak Hill junior keeps raising bar

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:06 AM EST
By Chuck Landis

MIER — Kendra Holcom has set new standards for Oak Hill girls’ divers since her freshman year. Now, if the junior can only get out of the sectional meet.

Missing out on the state finals remains the one disappointment of Holcom’s career, and one she hopes to rectify in next week’s state tournament. Yet, she knows it won’t be easy.

The Golden Eagles compete in the Hamilton Southeastern Sectional, which features many of the state’s top swimmers and divers. Only the top four divers will advance out of the Feb. 5 competition and earn a berth in the regional, set for Feb. 8 at Fishers. From there, the top eight finishers qualify for the state meet.

Despite having some of the state’s top 20 regular-season diving scores the previous two seasons, Holcom’s best finish at the sectional was a 10th last year.

“Last year, I went to the state meet and there were girls there who do some of the same dives I do, and I can do it just as good,” Holcom said. “It was frustrating to watch.”

Oak Hill diving coach Bobby Hart said Holcom could win the diving competition at several other sectionals across the state. Elwood’s Mary Beth Dunnichay, who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, also will compete at Hamilton Southeastern, and the other three qualifiers are capable of placing in the top 10 at the state finals.

“She doesn’t think her goals are reachable because Mary Beth Dunnichay is in the same sectional,” Hart said. “But she can be in the top four. If she nails her routines, she can squeak out a top-three or four finish.”

Holcom said she’s working on the difficulty of her dives leading up to the sectional meet. She’s been working primarily on her twists and turns.

“I have a chance (to qualify), but I have to dive really well to do it,” Holcom said.

This season, Holcom twice raised her 1-meter school record in the three-dive program. The mark currently stands at 255.15, which she set Jan. 6 against Marion.

In the 11-dive program, which she will perform in the sectional, Holcom set the school standard with 394 points Jan. 15 in the Central Indiana Conference meet. Dunnichay was competing at the CIC and won the competition with more than 626 points.

Neither Dunnichay nor Holcom’s scores are listed on the IHSAA website, but their CIC meet performances would rank among the top five scores reported in the state this winter.

Besides Dunnichay, Holcom has lost only one other diving competition this year. Holcom acknowledged she has had a tendency to compete to the level of her competition.

“This year, she’s really had no one to push her,” Hart said.

Growing up, Holcom performed gymnastics and never attempted diving until she was in seventh grade. Hart said Holcom started showing up to high school practices when she was in eighth grade.

“I took a couple of lessons early,” Holcom said. “I guess I’m just a natural (at diving).

Gymnastics and diving are pretty much the same thing. They have the same kind of techniques.”

Holcom competes in the spring and summer for Hart’s Star Diving Club, and this past fall played for the Oak Hill girls’ soccer team. She had played volleyball the previous two years.

These days, Holcom focuses much of her energy on diving and hopes she can earn a college scholarship.

“She can dive in college,” Hart said of Holcom. “She needs to work on her concentration more because she gets distracted easily. And she needs to work on the dives she’s not good at.”

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