Blue Springs South diver Bailey Carter was not satisfied with her first few dives at the Suburban Big Seven Conference Championships Thursday.
She needed an escape.
So Carter plugged her headphones into her smartphone and started listening to “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B. That got the senior going as she closed out the meet strong, including her back half-twister dive that netted her 37 points as she shattered the 11-dive conference record with 455.85 points (the previous record of 425.70 was held by Blue Springs South diver Allie Steinhauser) to take her third straight Big Seven title at the Lee’s Summit Aquatics Center.
Carter, along with other South and Blue Springs divers, had a rigorous week of practice with diving coach Missy Jackson, working on all 11 dives throughout this week and last. A lot of the divers were tired, but the city of Blue Springs was still represented well in this one.
South senior Delaney Jackson, who had been battling the flu this week, finished second with 413.95 points. The Wildcats had two divers finish in the top five as Natalie Sheehy (393.80) and Katie Garten (392.85) took fourth and fifth, respectively. Lee’s Summit North’s Annie McCord (412.35) took third.
“We worked super hard this week and didn’t take a break,” said Missy Jackson, who coaches both the Jags and Wildcats. “We want to hit our peak at state, so they’re a little bit tired today. They stayed longer at practice than they normally would.”
While the divers from both Blue Springs fared well, it was Carter who was the most consistent.
“Everyone cheering me on definitely helped,” Carter said. “My back half-twister is the one I usually do pretty well. I knew I had to do it really good to get the high scores. (The judges) scored pretty high, overall.”
Delaney Jackson’s dives were impressive in a different way. She was sick and didn’t even warm up before the meet started. The senior slept from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday and when she got to school slept almost the entire day, including during warmups.
Even while not being 100 percent, she still managed to fare well and even scored 38 points on her reverse dive.
“I really wasn’t expecting that at all,” Delaney Jackson said of her reverse dive. “(The coaches) actually woke me up a (5 p.m.) to dive. I am just glad I didn’t throw up or anything. They gave me a lot of water, Tylenol and Sprite and stuff. That trash can over there was for me.”
Missy Jackson was especially impressed with Delaney.
“I am proud of her for powering through the meet,” she said, “and not only powering through, but getting second, so that’s exciting.
Delaney Jackson hopes to rid herself of the illness by the time the state meet rolls around, where she and Carter are aiming for big things.
“I am maybe hoping to medal,” said Jackson, who need to place in the top eight to do so. “I got 10th as a sophomore and 16th last year. It wasn’t my best meet.”
Added Carter: “I just want to improve on my score and be the best I can be. Because the judges think one thing, it could be the best day you’ve ever had.”
Other results included Blue Springs South’s Autumn Campbell taking ninth (327.75) Blue Springs’ Mackenzie Loudermill taking 10th (325.55) Blue Springs’ Shayla Aten finishing 13th (295.85) South’s Giuliana Biscari taking 14th (276.85); and North’s Mackenzie Clemons taking 15th (260.50).