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WARRIORS ATHLETE OF WEEK: Sophomore maintains family diving tradition

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Sisters Tiffany and Katy Etterman started a family tradition.

In 2008, the Brainerd Warrior divers qualified for the Class 2A state meet, with Tiffany placing 12th and Katy 27th.

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Tiffany graduated but Katy carried on the tradition. In 2009, Katy finished seventh, the highest place by a Brainerd High School female diver. She added an eighth place last year.

Katy graduated and is now diving for the University of Minnesota. Sophomore Beth Etterman maintained the tradition established by her sisters when she placed third in last weekend’s Section 8-2A meet and qualified for state, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

“Two years ago I got eighth (in the section), last year I was sixth,” Beth said. “I was hoping to get (to state) and do what they’ve been doing every year. It looked like a lot of fun. Now that Katy’s at the U of M that was really pushing me to be better.”

Beth’s section finish capped a standout season. She won eight of nine dual meets and the Park Rapids Invite. She was the Central Lakes Conference runner-up and finished third in the Section 8-2A True Team meet.

“Beth doesn’t like to lose,” Warriors diving coach Mary Streiff said. “That set the tone of stepping up for state. She’s just a solid, steady competitor. As nervous as I was going into the section I don’t know she was all that nervous. She certainly didn’t dive like it.

“She missed a couple dives, maybe not hitting them as good as she could have, but she has such a solid list all the way around. There’s really nothing she can’t hit for big scores. We’re excited about where she might have a chance to end up at the state meet.”

Streiff thought Etterman turned the corner in the middle of October when she began perfecting a few new dives.

“I think she knew what she needed to be throwing,” Streiff said. “When it was time she put those new dives under her belt pretty easily. All the way through her diving list she’s solid from top to bottom.”

After the section prelims Etterman was sitting in first place. She wound up with 366.80 points, behind Maple Grove teammates Lexi Tenenbaum (418.65) and Summer Getty (371.60).

“My first few dives I was nailing all of them,” Etterman said. “One dive I messed up on, a reverse one and a half, I was short on that. My middle three dives were some of my weaker ones, except the inward one and a half, I nailed that. That helped me get back (in contention).

“The last three I knew I had to nail to get to state, and I nailed all three. I did one of the best front two and a halfs that I’ve ever done.”

Etterman’s only loss in a dual meet was the season opener Aug. 30 at Bemidji.

“I was just doing dives that were not very clean and I didn’t enter the water very well, so I didn’t score that good,” she said.

Etterman reeled off eight wins until finishing third in the True Team.

“I wasn’t having a really good meet,” she said, “but I was not having a bad one. I was just kind of not at my best at that meet.”

She won the final regular-season dual at Alexandria before finishing second in the CLC with 341.30 points while St. Cloud Tech’s Taylor Pick scored 345.40. Etterman was first after prelims.

“I kind of thought I would be able to win,” she said. “Taylor beat me by four points because my last few dives I didn’t nail them. I did pretty good but they weren’t my best.”

Other notable efforts:

• Fallon Ryan, swimming, was section runner-up in the 200 and 500 freestyles and qualified for state.

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or at 855-5861.

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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