Payton Props, a junior at Lubbock High school, won state on February 15 in Austin Texas. To make this year even better, this is Payton’s second time to win state.
Payton started diving in seventh grade and never thought that she would be a two time state champion. ¨ It was kind of just something to do” says Props, “ I just didn’t want to take athletics, so I never thought that it could ever correlate with me winning the state championships.¨
Throughout the 2018-2019 year, Payton has worked to make the dives for state a reality. When asked how she changed her practice for this year, Payton said ¨I was trying not to think about it, because my coach always told me if you go in cocky, you’re going to lose.¨
Props tried to ¨perfect [her] form¨ because she knew that there is going to be a lot of competition this year. ¨ As soon as state was over last year, I had state for this year in mind. I just wanted to train so that I could keep that title.¨
This year, Props has had a certain mindset when getting onto the board. When getting ready to dive, she said, “ I try not to think about the dive too much. I’m a really mental person and I can get into my head really easily. ¨ If she gets inside her head, she has a feeling that she could mess up. ¨ I try to just relax and calm down and [I] know if I do what I know how to do, then I will be fine.¨
However, her feelings while getting onto the diving board, was slightly different when she was about to do her last dive at state. “ I was so nervous, and the girl that was in second had a really good dive as her last dive and she did so good, so I knew I had to do good.¨
When Props finished her dive, there were many emotions going through her mind once she came up from the water. ¨ I felt like a weight was just lifted off my shoulders. As soon as I hit the water, I knew it was really good, so I was really happy. As soon as I saw it on the scoreboard I was just so happy, and I just wanted to go see coach [ because] I was just so excited.¨