MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - COM Aquatics diver Tarrin Gilliland, 15, won her first USA National Championship in December. She competed in the 10-meter synchronized event which qualified her for the 2018 World Diving Series coming up this weekend. Tarrin's partner during the National Championship was an NCAA athlete which made her ineligible to compete in the World Series. So, USA Diving assigned 26-year-old Katrina Young, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, to compete with Tarrin.
"Because I'm out of college and we are working well together they asked me to go and dive with her there. Of course, I said yes because Tarrin is awesome and we're going to have a blast there and it's fun to compete internationally it's a great experience and I'm just really thrilled that they asked me and excited to go," said Katrina Young.
Tarrin and Katrina haven't had a lot of time to practice, but they feel their chemistry has developed over the last few weeks.
"I was a little nervous at first because we didn't have a lot of time together to get ready for the world series. So, I was a little nervous for us getting together and synching up but it worked out really well and I'm so happy they got me another Olympian to do synchronize with. I'm so blessed," said Gilliland.
These two divers are headed to Beijing, China, and Fuji, Japan, to compete against divers from all over the world.
"Two destinations where other elite athletes are culminating. So, when we go other athletes that competed in the Olympics, will compete in the Olympics, or have competed in World Championships and World cups will be there. It's a chance to gain experience with a lot of pressure on you and pushing yourself to be competitive with the best divers in the world and hopefully matching up with them and doing a great job there," said Young.
Although these two may be years apart in age, their passion for diving is similar and keeps them motivated.
"For me it's the adrenaline rush. I love the adrenaline rush it just keeps me going and feels like I've actually lived. I love the hard work that you put in here and how you get over your fears that's the biggest one," said Gilliland.
"It means my dedication, it means my passion, it means my family, my friends, relationships I've built along the way. It's something very special to me and something I hold dear," said Young.
Gilliland and Young's first stop will be in Beijing, China, and then next weekend they'll make their way to Fuji, Japan.