Etowah diver DuVall again honored as an all-American
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
June 18, 2014 04:00 AM | 1237 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Unbeknownst to her — at least, until a sudden flurry of activity started on her Twitter feed — Etowah diver Madison DuVall was named an all-American for the second time in as many years.
<Br>Staff file photo
Unbeknownst to her — at least, until a sudden flurry of activity started on her Twitter feed — Etowah diver Madison DuVall was named an all-American for the second time in as many years.
Staff file photo
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Madison DuVall knows not everything on the Internet can be believed.

That’s why she wasn’t quite sure what to think when her Twitter feed started exploding last week with congratulatory messages.

Tweets, such as the one made by Etowah High School’s Twitter profile — “Congrats to Madison DuVall… named All-American” — went up and were retweeted.

DuVall, who was named an All-American diver in 2013, following her sophomore season, had reason to believe the congratulations were deserved. But without hearing it from the official source — the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association — she thought it might be too good to be true.

“I was with my mom and I found out because the school posted it on Twitter,” DuVall said. “People were retweeting it, and they tagged me in it, and that’s how I found out. I didn’t even know and I didn’t think it could be right.”

DuVall later received an email from Etowah coach Virginia Richards that contained a link to the list of 2013-14 all-Americans on the 1-meter board. About a quarter of the way down the alphabetized list was DuVall’s name.

She said it was just as exciting to be honored this time as it was the first.

“It was definitely exciting,” DuVall said. “It’s hard to explain.”

Richards was the first to read the news about DuVall.

“I just went to the NISCA website,” Richards said. “They said they would be announcing it sometime in June, and I checked the website, and it just happened to be up. We didn’t get an official notification from NISCA. I just knew it would be coming out and checked, and there it was.”

Richards emailed a link of the all-American list to DuVall, principal Keith Ball and athletic director Robert VanAlstyne, who posted it on Twitter.

Just as impressive as earning the award is the elite company DuVall is now in. She was the only female diver from a Georgia public school to receive All-American status this year. One other all-American, rising sophomore Abby Gardner, is a student at the Wesleyan School in Norcross.

All-Americans are selected after a committee views a video of the state championships and a diver’s corresponding scores.

“I was a lot more confident this year,” DuVall said. “It’s based on what you score at state and that is compared to other people around the country and how they score.”

DuVall was already on the radar of many college programs, but receiving her second All-American recognition before beginning her senior season will certainly draw even more notice. She is waiting until after July 1, when college coaches are allowed to make contact with her, before making any decisions.

Right now, DuVall said she’s anxious to finish high school and move on to college. Her goal this year is to stay healthy and avoid injury.

“I’m looking forward to going to college and diving,” she said. “I’m not really motivated about my senior year because I’m ready for college. Having all these people interested doesn’t help because I wish I could go now. I have to keep reminding myself to stay in the present and not go too far ahead of myself.”

DuVall hopes to pad her resume by winning another state championship and potentially be named an All-American for a third time. This summer, DuVall doesn’t have a heavy competition schedule and may not even compete at nationals in July.

“I’m in the process of learning a lot of new dives, and I’ll only go if I feel ready enough,” DuVall said. “I’m more concerned with the long run than any meet this year.”
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