Bingham Diver Defends State Title
Feb 27, 2015 03:03PM
● By Catherine Garrett
For the second year in a row, Bingham High sophomore Lizzie Holmes won the state diving title Feb. 12 at Brigham Young University. As a freshman, she won the title by over 25 points and was favored to repeat at this year’s championships.
“I was super excited to win again,” Holmes said. “There’s always a chance that you could mess up when that pressure is on.”
“Lizzie is extremely driven and dedicated to diving,” Laurel Plewe, one of her coaches at Cougar (BYU) Dive Club, said. “Her hard work paid off at state again.”
The daughter of Jeff and Michelle Holmes of South Jordan defeated her good friend – Joelle Pugmire of Pleasant Grove – by a score of 266.60 points to 215.05 points in the state meet.
The 15-year-old has been making a name for herself nationally since taking up the sport just a few years ago. This past summer, Lizzie spent two and a half months training with the Pacific Dive Academy in California. In July, she placed fourth on the 3-meter board at the USA Diving Summer Junior Zone E Championships in Tucson, Ariz. to qualify for the Junior National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. in August where she finished 23rd.
“It felt so good to compete at the Junior Olympics,” Lizzie said. “The numbers don’t sound that great, but I did my very best, and that’s all I could ask for. It was amazing to go up against the best divers in the country.”
Lizzie was introduced to diving by a friend in Arizona when she used to go to her friend’s diving lessons and then come home and try those same dives. When her family moved to Utah, she signed up for a six-week course at a local rec center. During the summer of her sixth and seventh grade years, she attended a BYU camp and was invited to be part of the Cougar Dive Club.
She competed in her first meet at the USA Diving Spring Region 10 Championships in Tuahalatin Hills, Ore. in March 2012 where she placed 17th on 3-meter and 22nd on 1-meter in the 12-13-year-old girls division.
The honors student, who holds a 3.96 GPA, practices two hours a day five days a week in Provo and is currently coached by Plewe and Ted Everett.
Aside from the physical aspects of her dives, Lizzie has been working on the mental side.
“I’ve been to a lot of competitions, and I would just worry about the scores and what place I was in,” she said. “I’ve had to learn to put that out of my mind and not focus on winning or I’ll fall apart. I’ve been focusing on the corrections my coaches help me to make on my individual dives.”
“This past year, Lizzie’s overcome those mental and emotional challenges of diving,” Plewe said. “We really emphasize that she is her biggest competitor, and it’s not about the scores. It’s about focusing on her best and if she can accomplish those goals, that’s the measurable success she has control over.”
Lizzie is working on five new dives in preparation for this season’s regional and zone meets, which will both be held in Oregon this spring, to try and again qualify for the Junior Olympics.
“This girl is definitely one to watch on the national scale,” Plewe said.
Lizzie has her sights set on diving collegiately with the dream of competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan not far from her mind.