Gott and Stout make the most of their trip to the IHSAA Women’s Swimming Finals

INDIANAPOLIS — There are more diving wins than losses for Kayla Gott.

Tears still flowed at the end of Saturday’s IHSAA Girls’ National Swim Meet for the Mooresville eldest, for herself and the memory of her late grandfather, Bill.

“My dad was really an inspiration to me,” Gott said.

The sport has not always been kind to her. She was 11th in the state as a sophomore with all the dreams and expectations that come with it. But last season was a mess related to COVID-19 and her back wouldn’t let her back in time to make another playoff run.

This year, she found herself fighting from behind after taking two weeks off for a family trip.

Following:Martinsville’s Molly Stout to headline qualifying in IHSAA sectional swimming preliminaries

Following:Molly Stout gets redemption and advances to state finals: ‘There was no way I was going to see her lose tonight’

“We had to come back and do a lot of things,” Mooresville diving coach Corey Ervin said.

Yet there she was, back at the IU Natatorium, a place she will call home next year as part of the IUPUI Dive Team and reunited with pioneering diver Sadie Smith. She finished 12th (397.50), having qualified for the final in a precarious ninth place.

“Definitely overwhelmed after all the hard work,” Gott said. “It’s paying off, obviously. I didn’t get where I wanted to be but I’m going to dive here next year. So that’s okay.”

It took a score over 415 to claim the medal and there has been a stalemate of divers chasing it over their last three dives.

“She’s done really well,” Ervin said. “She was a pretty solid group of divers up there and all of them were relatively made up by the (degrees of difficulty) they had. So that’s who showed up today.

“She dived very consistently. She only missed one dive and that was her last dive. But she’s a little harder on herself.”

Gott was in good position after dives 9 and 10. But her 11th, a 2 1/2 forward tuck somersault, her most difficult dive, wasn’t quite what she or the judges were looking for. But such stressful situations are what she lives for in her sport.

“I’m proud of myself,” Gott said. “I had a tough few years. Injuries, family. But it was such a great group of girls. It was such a blessing to be here to dive with them.”

And all the dreams of what lies ahead are still there. She will come back.

“I’m so excited,” Gott said. “This facility is so beautiful. I’ve already had future teammates come to watch and support me.

“I love diving with Sadie. We make a good duo.”

Martinsville’s Stout permeates it

Martinsville junior Molly Stout took out all her frustration from last year in the Natatorium pool this weekend.

She came back a little faster in the 100 breaststroke final, clocking 1:05.31 to finish 13th by 0.01, matching her preliminaries seed. A second-place finish in last year’s section left her for the weekend.

Molly Stout of Martinsville competes in the 200 IM on Tuesday December 7, 2021 at Bedford North Lawrence.

This time she was in the middle of a rowdy weekend at Indy.

“It’s very different from the prelims to the finals,” Stout said. “It’s a bit difficult being alone. You kind of have nothing to do, so you just sit and watch the races.

“But it was super exciting. I love it here. Last year I was 33rd in the state and I didn’t make it. I came in 13th, so it’s a good jump that I have done.”

Besides the wait, swimming only in the penultimate event of a major competition is quite unusual. The postponed section finals to Monday resulted in a shorter delay than usual. But she organized three regular races in six days.

“It’s super tough,” Stout said. “It’s hard from a physical point of view. I always have back pain after big competitions. So it’s a bit weird, but that’s my thing.

“But it’s hard to do it all in a row. But there are also a lot of rewards.”

Contact Jim Gordillo at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JimGordillo.

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