A new and exciting level of competition for Dexter's Lily Witte
Named a High School All-American while competing for the Team USA diving team, Dexter’s Lily Witte has had quite a summer so far.
The Sun Times News (STN) caught up with her after she had a strong finish at the Fina Grand Prix Canada Cup, which was an international competition that took place earlier this month. Witte is still considered a junior diver, so she said it was a real honor and humbling experience to represent the United States in such a high level event.
She finaled in both the 3-meter individual and 3-meter synchronized (synchro) diving, and placed 4th overall in individual and 6th in synchro.
For the 3m individual event, Witte said she had to make the cut in both preliminaries (had to make top 12) and the semi-finals (had to make top 3) against some of the best divers in the world in order to advance to the finals.
“Most of the competitors were much older than me with much more experience, and some of them were even Olympians,” Witte said. “Because this was my first senior international competition and I was not expecting much, overall I feel pretty good about how I placed and I am proud of it.”
To be able to compete with Team USA, she had to qualify for and compete in the USA Diving Senior National Meet this past December. She said she was able to make the podium with her synchro partner, Bailee Sturgill of Indiana, on 3 meter and also made it to finals in the individual 3m event.
Senior Nationals was a qualifying meet for selection by USA Diving for Team USA international competitions. Witte said she had no expectations to be selected for international meets. She said she just wanted the experience of competing in a senior meet.
“But much to our surprise, because of our performance in synchro at Senior Nationals, we were selected to represent the United States in the 3m synchro event at the Canada Cup,” Witte said. “We were then given the opportunity to also compete in our individual events.”
Then this past week she along with fellow Dexter divers Vivian Kinnard and Cole Warren were named to the All-American list, which is comprised of the top 100 men and women high school divers in the country.
This past November, Witte, as a Dexter Dreadnaught junior, became just the sixth diver in Michigan High School Athletic Association history to win three state titles in a career at the Division 2 state finals.
To reach this level, it takes a lot of dedication, commitment and support.
“I have had a lot of help along my whole diving journey,” Witte said. “From my super supportive parents, to my lifting coach (shout out to Coach Whit at Iron Dread), and of course to my dive coaches and teammates. All of these wonderful people have been there to support me and encourage me throughout the sport of diving and I could not have done it without any of them.”
STN asked her what inspires her to work hard to compete at such a high level.
“My teammates and coaches are a huge part in inspiring me to compete at this high level,” she answered. “They are always giving me advice and inspiring me to become the best diver I can.”