March 14, 2013
BERKELEY - Prior to the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships, CalBears.com caught up with diver Kahley Rowell to chat about her junior season. As a sophomore, the Dove Canyon, Calif., product earned All-America honors by taking fifth place on the platform at the NCAA Championships and, with that performance, clinched Cal's latest NCAA crown. She was also the first Cal women's diver to compete at NCAAs in 21 seasons.
CalBears.com: You had a strong end to the season last year. Has this season met expectations so far?
Kahley Rowell: Last year was sort of unexpected. After I finished on platform, it put things into perspective. I knew that I deserved to be there, and I thought that my goal for this year would be to win at NCs. The beginning of the season was kind of rough for me on platform. I just wasn't performing as I'd hoped. But things have recently come together really well. It's a good time of the season for that. I think I'm setting myself up to where I could accomplish that goal if all goes well.
CalBears.com: How do you feel about how you did on the platform at the recent Pac-12 Championships, with you taking third place and freshman teammate Sara-Lina Boushakra finishing fourth on the platform?
KR: I have mixed emotions. I'm obviously happy because third is great. After prelims - I had a really good prelim session - I was second by .25 of a point. And I missed a dive in prelims as well. I went into the final knowing I could potentially win it if I hit my dives. But I made a mistake on an easy dive for me. It's a bummer - obviously first would have been nice - but I'm still happy with a lot of the things that I did.
CalBears.com: What has Sara brought to the program in her first year as a Golden Bear?
KR: She has improved so much this year. Coming in she had some things she had to work on, but she has one of the most positive attitudes I've ever known in anyone. It's nice to have her here because it keeps me positive. Seeing how much she's improved pushes me to make the corrections I need to make and pushes me to grow as well.
CalBears.com: Have you been able to watch any of the Pac-12 Network broadcasts of Cal meets this season?
KR: I've seen a little clip of the Stanford meet; my mom sent me a clip of my last dive, when they were talking about it.
CalBears.com: What benefit will the program get from that kind of exposure on conference television?
KR: I think it will show the ups and downs that we go through. People only see NCs, if they watch that. They just see us at that point. And especially for diving - since it's so tough to make NCs - people can see how high the level of performance is at all of these meets. It sort of shows how good a diver can be and still not make NCs.
CalBears.com: What kind of warm-up music do you listen to before competing?
KR: Rap. Always rap. I like moving around and getting my muscles loose, so listening to up-beat songs before warm-up helps. When I'm competing I don't like to listen to music in between rounds. I like to keep it casual - talk to (diving coach) Todd (Mulzet) and talk to my teammates - and try to make it more like a practice.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite movie?
KR: There are so many, and I'm a film studies major. I really like "Pulp Fiction." It's classic.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite TV show?
KR: There are too many of those, too! I really like "Entourage," though that's over now. "Shameless" on Showtime is really good. I really like "Dexter," too.