SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Following a superb freshman season, including the third-highest platform score in program history, NAU diver Kali Lents returns home to San Antonio in hopes of capping her rookie campaign in grand style in front of friends and family in her home city.
"I'm really excited to see my family and friends and it's great to be back home," said Lents on the eve of her first WAC Championships. "I've been really happy with my season so far and hope to advance to the finals and compete with the other great divers this week."
Lents was born in Layton, Utah but grew up in San Antonio. She attended Ronald Reagan high school, which is just 30 minutes north of the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center, the host facility for the WAC Swimming & Diving Championships. The facility served as Lents' home pool for club diving, as she first competed in the pool at age nine.
"I've spent a lot of time here and attended the WAC Championships last year after committing to NAU," noted Lents. "I know how it all works so I'm not too nervous, mostly just excited. I also know who the judges will likely be so that's another advantage."
Having witnessed the Lumberjacks dive last season and learning from NAU's returning divers this year has helped Lents adjust to collegiate competition.
"The meets are kind of different and the expectations are much higher, so they are scored different," she said. "The seniors and other returners have taught me just to relax and have fun and let your body do what you know how to do."
Lents has been among NAU's most consistent performers all season, posting the third-best season score on 1-meter and the fourth-best score on 3-meter and scoring for the Lumberjacks throughout the dual season. Three weeks ago at the Falcon Diving Invite, Lents posted a team season-high score of 211.45 on platform, which was the third best total in program history and was the team's highest platform score since 2008.
"I'm really comfortable on platform," said Lents. "I used to platform dive every week in high school but now it's more like once a month since we don't have it in Flagstaff, but I'm still confident having trained so much growing up."
She has enjoyed her first season on the mountain campus but is happy to return home, something she will look forward to doing throughout her NAU career. The WAC Championships have been held in San Antonio in each of the eight seasons that NAU has been a member of the conference, with this year's diving competition set to begin on Thursday.
"One of the main reasons I came to NAU was knowing that the conference meet would be here," she added. "I'm expecting about 10-15 friends and family members to be here, and I'm really excited to get to compete again in my home pool."