Kaitlyn Holt has transferred her talent from the gymnastics floor to the diving board.
After sustaining a left knee injury last fall from overuse during gymnastics training and competitions, the Mount Si athlete sat out the season and was cleared to return to the sport in August. After training once a week for a bit, Holt realized she didn’t want to compete in gymnastics anymore.
She turned to diving and has etched her name on the Mount Si program as the school’s first ever female diver.
The sophomore has found success after just two months on the board, qualifying for 4A districts with a fourth-place 318.85 score (six points away from a state mark) at the Bainbridge Island 11-dive meet. Holt hasn’t qualified for state yet, but she’ll have two more chances at the KingCo championships and another district meet.
“I think it just naturally comes to me, just because I know the movements with the flips and the twists and everything,” Holt noted about her gymnastics background.
From day one on the diving board, Holt knew she was on the right track.
“I wouldn’t say I’m not scared of anything, I just go for things and I chuck things. That’s what I did in gymnastics, I just chucked everything and then I perfected it,” she said of unleashing flips and twists during those sports.
While standing poolside at Julius Boehm Pool in Issaquah last Friday afternoon, Holt watched other schools’ divers practicing and noted that her front double-flip and one-and-a-half flip dives are her favorites.
Mount Si coach Valerie Berglund is impressed with Holt’s talent and thrilled she’s chosen to enter the diving realm.
“I think just her willingness to try. She’s constantly braving new dives, even though she may not want to,” Berglund said of what drives Holt. “She has a smile on her face and is giving it her best foot forward, so that’s really helping her. She’s got her good body awareness from gymnastics and there is some natural talent there that we were able to capitalize on.”
The Record asked Holt a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Just to always look forward and don’t look in the past. Just always try to do better.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Caadxi Oaxaca (Mexican restaurant).
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Smacking your gum. I hate that, it’s so annoying. That’s an easy one.
What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
What’s your dream vacation spot?
Somewhere in Hawaii.
What super power would you like to have?
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Pop, today’s hits.