Illini of the Week: Britni Fisher

Erica Magda

Erica Magda

By Jessica Glade

When freshman Britni Fisher faces her competition, she does so head first. Against Illinois State, Fisher took first place in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events Friday. This was the first time an Illinois diver won both events in a single meet since 2006, and the diving team was happy to watch the accomplishment.

“It was pretty exciting, especially seeing that she’s a freshman and it’s only her fourth meet,” junior Nikki Spillone said. “It was cool to see her step up and face one of their junior divers. It’s exciting starting off the season strong and I think she’s got a lot more to come.”

Fisher was enthused with her performance.

“It was great,” Fisher said. “I hadn’t won an event in awhile, I’ve always been all right, I’ve qualified for stuff, but it’s a great feeling. I get to college and I was like, ‘all right I’m going to start at the bottom of the pack and work my way up.’ This was just a great feeling to nail every dive and be like, ‘wow, I just did this.'”

While Fisher is excelling in diving, it wasn’t her first competitive sport.

“I tried a lot of sports when I was little, like softball and soccer, and I did horseback riding even,” Fisher said. “But then my dad mentioned diving once. I had just quit swimming and my dad was like, ‘Hey, you should try diving’, because you couldn’t get me out of the water. I was like. ‘OK’. So I started bugging him for about two months until he finally found a place to take me and then he couldn’t get me away from it.”

While in high school, Fisher was a three-year letter winner in swimming at North Salem High School in Salem, Ore., and earned two letters in track and field.

Now, she is focused on her diving, and coach Chris Waters is pleased with how the freshman is developing.

“We’re adding dives still right now,” Waters said. “For us, it’s still very early in the year. We try to peak in February and March, so if we’re hitting those marks now at this point in the season it’s going to help further down the road and work on the details.”

Fisher admits it takes more than a hard work ethic to be a good diver.

“It’s definitely a mental and a physical sport,” Fisher said. “You have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid of throwing yourself across the water. You might belly flop, you might back flop and you just got to suck it up and take it. Just have to have the love of the sport.”

For her, the love of the sport comes from one thing.

“The adrenaline rush, definitely,” Fisher said. “I mean, every dive, it’s scary to do. You’re flying through the air. You might land on your back; you might land on your stomach, you don’t really know. It’s just the adrenaline rush. And then hitting a dive perfectly and going into the water knowing you hit it, its fun.”

Fisher is excited to continue to work on and perfect her favorite dive.

“The inward two and a half pike on the 3-meter,” Fisher said. “So you stand backwards, and face forwards and then you flip forward and bend your body in half and go in the water head first. It’s great.”

Editor’s Note: The Daily Illini sports desk sits down on Sunday nights and decides which Illinois athlete is our Illini of the Week. Student-athletes are evaluated by individual performance and contribution to a team’s success.