Etowah’s Madison DuVall earns national diving praise
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
July 03, 2013 12:08 AM | 1693 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
02-04-13 -- Madison Duvall 02 -- Etowah sophomore Madison Duvall, 15, prepares to dive during practice at Cobb Aquatic Center.  STAFF/EMILY BARNES
02-04-13 -- Madison Duvall 02 -- Etowah sophomore Madison Duvall, 15, prepares to dive during practice at Cobb Aquatic Center. STAFF/EMILY BARNES
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Etowah High School’s Madison DuVall has a new line to add to her resume after being named to the 2013 All-American Diving team by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

DuVall, a rising junior, competed for the Eagles in the Class AAAAAA state meet in February and placed third. A video of that performance was submitted, along with a scorecard signed by a judge at the event. Her performance was judged alongside the thousands of other submissions from around the country. Only three girls from Georgia made the list – neither of the two girls who beat her at the state meet were included.

DuVall, who was a gymnast until converting to diving two years ago, said she was excited when she her the news.

“It felt like a lot of hard work had paid off,” she said. “Scores come from all over the country, all different states and they pick the top ones.”

DuVall’s mother, Courtney, who was an All-American swimmer in high school, suggested that her daughter try to make the list for diving. Madison’s father, Brad, filmed her dives at the state meet, making it a total family effort.

Madison DuVall said that she submitted a film in 2012 as well, but never heard back from the NISCA. This year she submitted her tape in February and was just notified at the end of June.

DuVall said that Kennesaw Mountain’s Alexandria Hart had been her rival throughout the high school season.

“The girl that beat me at state by four points didn’t make it, and I made it,” said DuVall. “There was controversy all season over who was better because our scores were so close. Usually you find out earlier, but there was a conflict with mine and a couple of other girls of who would get the spot, so we didn’t find out until later.

“My goal all season was to beat (Hart) and I finally did it. She was my main competition all year.”

Both girls are a part of the Metro Atlanta Diving club.

With Hart moving onto college, DuVall knows that she will be the one that other girls are chasing when the 2013-14 season rolls around. She is working hard to make sure that she has a few new dives in her book.

“In the past few years all the girls that have beaten me have been seniors,” said DuVall. “They are all gone now, so I guess that makes me the one to beat.

DuVall has been competing with Metro Atlanta Diving throughout the summer. She recently returned from a meet in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Next on her radar is a trip to U.S.A. Nationals at the end of the month where she will compete in synchronized diving for the first time.

“That is kind of new,” she said.

DuVall is partnering with Lyndsey Dickson, a junior at Towson State University (Md.)

“She comes back to train with us in the summer,” said DuVall. “She was a gymnast like I was before, so the way we do things is very similar. We have the same skill level of dives, so it works well. Her dad (Rob Dickson) coaches us some and he came up with the idea. We gave it a try and I love it.”

Because she hasn’t even begun her junior year of high school yet, DuVall said she isn’t receiving much attention from colleges. However, she is hoping to land an offer from her dream school before all is done.

“The University of Hawaii,” said DuVall. “I really love the diving down there. I like Hawaii. I have been there a few times and that just sounds like my dream school.”

Often practicing twice a day, DuVall said that all of the work is worth it when she performs well at a meet.

“I’ve been pretty busy, but at least I’m having fun,” she said.

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