Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Hailey Hernandez represents the US at the World Aquatics Championship

Skyler Sharp
Junior Hailey Hernandez pushes up out of the pool after a dive on October 6, 2023. At this meet against The University of Houston, Hernandez got first in the 1-meter and 3-meter dive with 347.48 and 401.33 points respectively.

Junior diver Hailey Hernandez placed sixth globally in the 1-meter springboard at the World Aquatics Championships in Qatar on Feb. 2.

The international competition is one of many for Hernandez who has the potential to participate in 2024. Following the World Aquatics Championship, she and fellow teammate senior Alison Gibson now both have the opportunity to make the Paris 2024 USA Diving roster.

“I really love to get in that competitive zone,” Hernandez said. “So getting up there on the board is kind of thrilling, exhilarating for me.”

While Hernandez’s national accolades are beyond impressive, she is no stranger to the international diving atmosphere. She has a consistent competitive edge that pushed the Olympian to place third at the Pan American Games back in October 2023.

“I find that going to other countries, diving is actually a lot bigger of a sport,” Hernandez said.

Two-hundred-four countries from across the world traveled to the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Qatar to compete in the event. Out of the 47 competitors in the women’s one-meter springboard, the U.S. was the only country to have both of their competitors placed in the top ten, Hernandez and Gibson, proving the expectation of excellence for the country.

To be her best, Hernandez sticks to a strict training schedule. Performing at the peak of international women’s diving, Hernandez’s extensive workout regimen fulfilled its purpose of preparing her to compete at a high caliber.

“We’re training about 20 to 25 hours a week, every week through training in the water, weight training and conditioning outside of the pool,” Hernandez said.

Her final score of 249.60, just 11 points shy of the gold medal, represents the strenuous hours spent in the pool here in Austin.

Before the competition, Hernandez and her fellow competitors were informed of the differences that came with competing in Qatar and prepared for the situation by Texas Athletics.

“We were definitely warned and given a kind of precaution heading into it,” Hernandez said. “But you know (we are) also trying to adhere to their culture and do our best to fit in their society.”

She was there to compete, and she exceeded that expectation. Hernandez now turns her attention back to collegiate diving. On Feb. 27, she’ll compete in the annual Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship and, dependent on her qualifying, the NCAA National Championship on March 11.

“(I’m) just kind of sticking to what I normally do and getting back into a good training schedule,” Hernandez said. “But I feel really, really good heading into (the) Big 12.”

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