With her breakthrough runner-up finish in the CIF Southern Section Division II Swimming and Diving Championships in May, Flintridge Prep freshman diver Madi Witt certainly made waves around the area.
The ripple effect of Witt's rousing debut, it turns out, traveled quite a bit farther, as she was named one of 100 female All-Americans for 1-Meter Diving by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Assn., which released its list Monday.
"I was really surprised at first and then after it kind of settled in I was really proud of myself and my performance," said Witt, one of only 11 freshmen to make the list. "Since I was only a freshman, I didn't really know how good my chances were, but once I found out I was one of 11 ninth-graders that received All-American, it felt really good. It gave me a lot more confidence."
Witt submitted a DVD of one of her top CIF performances from the season to gain consideration, her mother Lisa Witt said. Each dive must meet a minimum 13.00 degree of difficulty and the diver must score a minimum of 375 points with all 11 dives. The NISCA High School All-American Selection Committee scores that competition and then ranks each one of the divers.
Witt is the first female diver from Flintridge Prep to earn All-American status and the first Rebel diver overall to receive the honor in at least 25 years, according to Prep Athletic Director Alex Rivera.
"It's wonderful," Prep Director of Communications Nicole Trevor said. "We did check our records and we have a long history of diving and swimming at this school, but this is the first time any of our female divers have ever been named an All-American. She's setting a school precedent, that's for sure, and we're all very proud of her."
Witt finished second in the Prep League before taking a slim lead into the final round of the CIF championship meet. She finished second to SoCal Fullerton teammate Annika Lenz of Pasadena Poly, who was also named All-American.
"Going into diving in high school it's a lot different than a club team," Witt said. "I wasn't really sure who my competition would be and I didn't really know that I would be up against seniors. Then almost winning CIF and receiving All-American just added to the experience for my freshman year."