By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – When Andrea Adam decided to join the City High swimming team to give diving a try last fall she did so with one goal and one fear.
The goal was simple – to have fun.
After giving up gymnastics a few years earlier, Adam was searching for a sport to fill the void and diving fit her skills.
Her fear wasn’t so simple.
“I thought I was going to be really bad and I was really scared that it was going to be super competitive and I wouldn’t have a place,” Adam recalled. “That was tough at first.”
That fear didn’t last for long.
Months after taking up the sport Adam reached the finals of the state diving meet last fall.
This year she has continued her ascent toward become one of the top divers in the state.
“It’s been a blast especially working with someone who has such a positive attitude,” City High diving coach Samantha Wagner said. “She is a contender, she is a top diver in this state and so working with that and helping her reach her goals is really rewarding.”
Adam enters Thursday’s regional diving competition at 5 p.m. at Grinnell with the sixth best score in the state this season.
Now a favorite to reach the finals and a contender for a state medal the fear that Adam once felt is gone but the goal she brought to the sport remains.
“I’m still having fun with it, whatever happens, happens, I’m not going to be really stressed out about it,” Adam said. “Last year I went in with no expectations I just kind of wanted to get through the cuts and see if I could experience that and I did.”
Years of gymnastics provided a background for Adam. She prepped for her first season by working with the Iowa diving club.
With each meet last year Adam gained confidence but it wasn’t until her performance at state that she realized what she could do.
“It was state last year when I kind of saw what I could do,” Adam said. “I didn’t think I was going to do well at all, my coaches knew that I could get through the cuts but when I did I was so excited.”
Adam has benefited from working with a pair of former Iowa divers in her two years competing for City High.
Last season it was Lauren Kelba who coached Adam and this year Wagner has stepped into the role.
“Andrea has excellent body awareness and that is one of the things that if you can transfer that over from gymnastics to diving you are going to pick things up pretty quickly,” Wagner said. “Andrea is definitely one of those girls that she has that excellent body awareness and body control so things clicked for her pretty quickly.”
Adam finished second at the Mississippi Valley Conference meet earlier this month with a career-best score of 411.05.
That ranks her sixth among all divers in the state this season.
“She has made huge improvements already throughout the season and a lot of that is because she is really eager and willing to try new things,” Wagner said. “She is always asking me if she can try new dives or change positions in the dive to make it harder and increase her degree of difficulty.”
In a span of a year Adam has gone from no expectations to high expectations.
She is considering diving in college and has been contacted by coaches.
“Now college diving is a more real future for me,” Adam said. “I don’t know if I’m going to yet but people are talking to me and that’s kind of boosting my confidence a little bit.”
Even with the increased expectations and attention Adam’s top goal of enjoying the moment, remains unchanged.
“I want to get on the podium at state but if I don’t it won’t be any big deal,” Adam said. “I want to enjoy it and hopefully I can do better than last year.”