IU prepares for House of Champions Invitational

The IU diving team has one last chance to achieve everything it has been working toward.

The divers will head to Indianapolis to compete in the House of Champions Invitational this weekend before beginning Nationals in December.

In addition to the men’s varsity squad of junior Joshua Arndt and sophomore Cody Coldren, sophomore James Connor and junior Michael Hixon will also have a chance to showcase their dives.

On the women’s side, senior Lacy Houser and junior Michal Bower will compete alongside sophomores Lauren Clarksean and Jessica Parratto.

All of the divers have qualified for the post-season already, and the Invitational will be scored individually, IU Coach Drew Johansen said.

“This pool is the host to the U.S. Olympic Trials,” Johansen said. “It is newly renovated and one of the best facilities, so we’re looking forward making it our home away from home. This is our chance to have one final competition here before the Winter National Championships and World Cup Trials.”

A handful of teams from the Midwest will be competing at the event this weekend, including IU-Purdue University Indianapolis, Kentucky, Western Illinois, University of Indianapolis and University of Evansville.

The invite starts off Friday with platform and synchronized diving and continues Saturday for the men’s 1-meter and women’s 3-meter divers. Sunday will be the 3-meter dives for men and the 1-meter dives for women. “Again, we’re looking to perform equal to or better than our training,” Johansen said. “This will be a test to close out the semester on a high note and hopefully set us up for the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships.”

Some of the divers will continue experimenting with new dives, Johansen said. Arndt in particular will be testing a new dive that is currently the hardest dive in competition right now.

Arndt’s new dive will be on the 3-meter board for a backwards 3 1/2 tuck.

“It’s going to be good to practice that during a meet,” Arndt said. “A big part of it will be mental and visualizing the way your body is supposed to move through the air. Things like tuck position and the board will also make a difference. Being able to perform the dive in a meet setting is something I’m looking forward to.”

With the new level of difficulty, Arndt said he can’t help but feel nervous, but becoming familiar with the dive will be beneficial in the long run.

“It’s like a training meet for us,” Arndt said. “We’re about one month out from Winter Nationals. It’ll be good for us to get the experience with this pool to be more comfortable with it. I get a little anxious thinking about performing the dive in a meet but hopefully the adrenaline gives me the oomph I need to pull it off.”

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