Tallahassee, FL — Santa Cruz’s Ariel Rittenhouse was an Olympic athlete before her first day of college. A member of the US Diving team at Beijing, she’s training to earn a sport for the team that will take her to London.
“Just to be able to prepare, know what you’re going in to, because if you don’t know you’re a little nervous because you don’t know what’s going to happen but having been there it helps with the whole process.”
In 2008 she finished fourth in the three meter synchro event. This time she’s competing individually.
Rittenhouse adds, “Individual is nice, just to have my own time, so it will be nice to be by myself.”
After not competing her sophomore year at Southern Cal, Ariel transferred to Florida State. Since then she has been working to get back to her Olympic level.
“She has been away from it for a little while and she still is really trying to get back into her top form,” says FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey.
Having the experience of going through the Olympic trials is a tool that she thinks will help her.
Ariel adds, “Knowing that I’ve been there before makes it a little different. The first time was something I had never experienced. I had never been to a meet that was so televised and so big.”
“We’ve been through the US Nationals, we’ve been to the NCAAs, she’s done better at both of those,” Jeffrey adds. “She’s been out there in front of everybody again and this could be the event.”
The trials run June 17th through the 24th in Federal Way, Washington.