Sports

Weeks relishes offseason after taking 4A diving crown

Fiona Weeks  of Clinton, a senior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, is looking to the future after winning the WIAA 4A diving crown this past year. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Fiona Weeks of Clinton, a senior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, is looking to the future after winning the WIAA 4A diving crown this past year.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Fiona Weeks stepped onto the diving board.

It was her final dive, her eleventh of the night, but a place she had been many times. She refined her mechanics well enough to win the district match and place in the top 10 the previous three years: fourth (2007), fifth (2009) and sixth (2008).

Weeks, 17, didn’t add anything to her repertoire during the previous offseason. Instead, the former competitive gymnast felt confident and comfortable with the moves she already knew, and worked instead on technique and execution.

In her final year, at her final meet and in her final dive, she was ready.

She took three graceful steps, hurdled off the end and flipped her body three times before straightening like a needle as she broke the surface of the water.

The final score pushed her total to 383.05 points.

Then came the wait. Weeks was the first diver in each set, and watched as her friend Mackenzie Rands, a fellow diver and Eastlake athlete, competed. At the end, Rands missed tying Week’s score by nine-tenths of a point — just enough to secure Weeks the WIAA 4A diving championship.

“The key for me to winning was not to make any mistakes,” said Weeks, a Clinton resident.

Kelly Robertson, her former dive instructor at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, was an opposing coach at the state championships. Robertson cited Weeks’ work ethic, talent and mental fortitude for her diving title.

“She always wanted to get better,” Robertson said of Weeks. “She was just ‘Connie Consistent.’”

The teacher and the student spoke before the event began. It was then that Robertson said she knew Weeks was going to win.

And when Weeks won, Robertson admitted she was a little emotional.

“It was great,” Robertson said. “There were tears in my eyes.”

Five years ago, Weeks made a big decision after graduating from the Waldorf School. She chose to attend Kamiak High School instead of South Whidbey.

“I was already coming over here [to Mukilteo] for gymnastics, so the idea of coming over here for school wasn’t horrifying,” Weeks said.

Diving became her sport the summer of 2007, after she stopped competing with her gymnastics club, then based in Mukilteo.

She said she struggled with the rigors of gymnastics, both physically as well as the time constraint. Even so, the gymnastics skills she acquired over a 10-year career translated smoothly into diving talent.

“Going into water is a lot easier than landing on hard floors,” Weeks said.

Diving gave her the chance to jump into a new sport at a new school and be part of a team.

Still, the team aspect didn’t work as well as she thought: She was the only diver on the girls swim and dive team this year, but has always felt welcomed by the swim team. There’s one big upside to being the only diver, though.

“I get through my workouts really quickly,” Weeks said of her one-on-one sessions with Kamiak dive coach Tanya Brown.

The South Whidbey resident of 16 years knows that’s in the past. Now, she is focused on the present and the future.

Presently, there is plenty of competition left for Weeks, who also competes in a cappella with the group the Starry Knights.

Weeks, along with seven other Kamiak senior girls, perform with the high school choir at Kiwanis meetings, senior living homes and other events across the area. This is her second year as the leader of the Starry Knights, which gives her a little pull when it comes to creating the group’s schedule.

Her vocal talents also got her named to the All Northwest Treble Vocal Choir, which is a group of high school vocalists from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Gymnastics, diving and singing all share a common denominator: competition and judges.

Once a month she volunteers on Kamiak’s Student Traffic Court as the judge. In December, she presided over eight cases of high school students’ traffic infractions.

All of her activities make for a packed planner, but she transitions as smoothly as she dives.

Monday through Friday, she wakes at 5 to catch the 6:30 a.m. ferry to Mukilteo.

School starts less than an hour later, and the sixth period bell rings at 2 p.m. Weeks, however, has a seventh period as part of her jazz choir commitment, so she’s done with classes at 3 p.m. Then she has dive practice until 5 p.m. Her a cappella group meets at least twice a week from 5 until 7:30 p.m.

Weeks rides either the 8 or 8:30 p.m. ferry back to Clinton. And when she gets home, she works on homework (she has four advanced placement courses: statistics, physics, government and English) until 11 p.m. and sometimes midnight to maintain a grade-point average that’s as impressive as her dives.

On Saturdays during dive season in fall, she practices from 6 to 8 a.m., unless there’s a meet.

Sundays are slower days for Weeks, when she volunteers as a barista at the South Whidbey Commons Coffeehouse.

Then she starts all over.

Her collegiate ambitions will likely take her far from South Whidbey.

“I feel like at some point you have to kind of break away,” Weeks said.

Looking past graduation in June, Weeks is waiting to learn which colleges are still in play. Her top choice is Dartmouth College, a liberal arts school in New Hampshire.

She said she’d like to continue diving in college, but academics will be her main focus. And she’s not worried about receiving an athletic scholarship, after training at diving camps hosted by Indiana University. There, she saw the commitment of top-level divers.

“They’re training for the Olympics,” Weeks said. “And I dive for fun.”

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