Taking A Leap

Taking A Leap

At age three, Alexandra House was a “very active” young girl. So much so that the family doctor suggested some activities to help get some of that energy out. “They recommended I try dance, soccer and gymnastics. I did all three.” said House.

She continued on for several years before eventually dropping both soccer and dance in favor of gymnastics.

After several years of training and competitions, Ali – as she’s known by friends and family, was well on her way to becoming a well respected gymnast with several top finishes.

That is until a serious injury in 2012 abruptly brought her dreams to a screeching halt.

She had broken six bones in her wrist and it was determined that continuing on with Gymnastics presented too many opportunities for re-injury. Her years of training and competing was over.

However, it wasn’t long before Ali and her parents began exploring her options. Ali had a friend and former teammate who had suffered a similar injury and made the transition to diving.

For Ali, all signs began pointing towards the diving board. “The skills involved are so similar. Being aware of the space around you, having the ability to self correct and even the work ethic that’s required.” Being completely new to the sport, House did all she knew how-  to jump in.

After months of training and learning everything from dives to rules to scoring, Ali began competing…and winning! As part of a club, she spent the summer traveling to competitions across the country from Pittsburg to Texas and continued bringing home wins.

Now diving for her High School team at Newark, things are continuing to go well for House. For the second  consecutive league meet, the Newark Freshman broke the Newark High school pool mark. But that’s not all.

House is currently ranked number one in the state and all of Section Five. When asked how she came to dominate the ranks so quickly in a brand new sport, House said she credits all of her gymnastics experience as the main reason. “I’m also very lucky to have such supportive parents.” That helps,  as her current routine consists of about 20 hours of practice each week. That’s in addition to her school work which Ali said is a priority. “It’s complicated. I end up doing my homework on the hour drive out to Geneseo where I train. Some nights I get home just in time to get to bed.” But Ali says it’s worth it and her parents agree, driving her to and from each practice and competition.

She also is thankful to have great coaches that are helping her along the way, including High School Coaches Tedd VanDuyne and Dale Binggeli, in addition to her personal diving coach Shawn Austin.

Looking forward, Ali’s goal for High School is qualifying for States and finishing in the top 3 in sectionals. Beyond that, Ali says she’d love to get into a Division 1 school and eventually continue on to the Olympics some day.

This season, she’ll have 8 more meets to try and maintain the number one spot and to beat her school’s record which as of Thursday night, she was only one point short of.

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