GREENFIELD – Shyanne Milne is on a mission.
After making a state finals appearance last year in only her second season on the Greenfield-Central swim team, Milne, a junior diver, is expecting a repeat performance — and more — this year as postseason swimming and diving gets underway today.
Area teams will compete at the New Palestine Sectional for preliminary rounds beginning at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, the diving will conclude as well as the consolation and final rounds of swimming.
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Milne, who repeated as the Hoosier Heritage Conference champion this season, finished third at last year’s diving sectional and fourth at the regional.
She followed those performances up with a 31st place finish at the IHSAA State Finals at IUPUI. However, after a long offseason with multiple hours spent on the diving board, the junior is ready to trump those performances this season.
The Daily Reporter caught up with Milne to talk about her career and what she is looking forward to in the upcoming weeks of the postseason.
DR: How did you start diving in the first place?
SM: I became a diver after coach Emily Logan spotted me diving off the board during summer gym class my freshmen year. After quitting gymnastics I didn’t think I would find another sport I liked or was good at like gymnastics. After realizing how similar they were, it was easy for me to come in and be confident. I started diving because, even though gymnastics was my life for many years, it was time to make a new start. My injuries made gymnastics harder and harder. I like how much easier diving is on my body.
DR: How does your gymnastics background specifically help with diving?
SM: I had a lot of the technique for diving the first day I started. In gymnastics, you either do it or you go the rest of the day wishing you had — that’s how I see diving. You either do it or you don’t. I am good at getting up and doing whatever dive I am asked to do. I had gymnastics coaches that pushed me as far as they knew I could go, even if I didn’t think I could. Gymnastics taught me a lot about mental training. The one thing I will always remember from gymnastics was the quote we all memorized and saw daily. ‘Fear is nothing. Fear stands for nothing. Fear is false expectations appearing real.’ This quote is what helps me push past any fear I have no matter what the situation is.
DR: What was it like making it to state last year? And how has that helped you this season?
SM: It was an incredible experience making it to state last year. It made me feel more confident, and it really made it easier going into this season. The experience made me understand that not everyone gets that experience, and I am glad I got the opportunity to experience it. Leaving state I knew exactly what it was I needed to work on, and I was ready to make it happen.
DR: What did you do over the summer to improve?
SM: Over the summer I worked on diving at Lawrence North. They were very welcoming and I appreciated it. I did not get much training in like I wanted to because in the middle of summer I had surgery on my wrist, and it took some time to heal. So I worked a lot on approaches and technique. I am looking forward to my senior year, too, because I believe I will come back from the summer stronger than ever. Although it will be my last year diving at Greenfield Central High School, I plan to go hard because I don’t see why I would hold back now after I have come so far.
DR: What were your main goals entering this season?
SM: My goal entering this season was to improve. Improve my dives, my technique and myself in general. My goal is not to win at the sectional and regional, although that would be fantastic if I did. I know there will be some very good girls at the sectionals and regional, and I am looking forward to diving with them. My all-around goal is to make it back to state.
DR: How has coach Duane Knecht helped with your progression?
SM: My coach has had one of the biggest impacts on me through my entire diving season. I came into diving my first year and he was excited to see how far we could make it. He saw potential that not everyone could see. He would never tell me to do something unless he was sure I could do it. He was always positive and a great influence on me and the entire diving team. Practice isn’t all rules and being strict. He makes it so we enjoy being there just as much as we enjoy the hard work we put in.
Who: Greenfield-Central, New Palestine, Eastern Hancock, Mt. Vernon.
What: Swim and Dive Sectional
When: Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (Preliminary Rounds), Saturday at 9 a.m. (Swim Consolations) and 1 p.m. (Finals).
Where: New Palestine High School