Meagan Perry-Eaton knows how big the next five days are for her diving career.
A senior-to-be at Bloomingdale, Perry-Eaton will be competing in the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the Senior Nationals in Houston, a meet that starts today and ends Sunday.
That's important for Perry-Eaton, a superb diver who is one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. College coaches will be dissecting her every move. A good showing and there will be scholarship offers. A bad week and the interest could fade.
"The meets _ they're all nerve-wrecking and stressful," she said. "You have one chance to show you're stuff. But that helps because I've been through that. I know what to do."
Her coach, Joe Greenwell, wants to make sure she forgets about the fanfare and concentrates on the only thing she can control: her performance.
"She (Perry-Eaton) is pursuing a college career and she has good enough qualities to do that," Greenwell said. "But you can't put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes you have to forget about those things. I know because I had those feelings as a diver that I was never quite in the door."
Someone who is breaking down the door is Chris Colwill, a freshman-to-be at Tampa Prep and a teammate of Perry-Eaton's on the Jetstream Diving Team. At the Junior Nationals in Orlando last week, Colwill won the 1-meter and 3-meter and was runner-up in the platform event. He ended up qualifying on all three boards for the World Championships, which will be in the Czech Republic Aug. 19-21. He was the only diver to accomplish that feat.
That left a difficult decision for Colwill, who already had qualified for the Senior Nationals in the 1-meter. Initially, he didn't think would be able to fit in both meets. But he found the time.
Colwill competes in the 1-meter on Friday. He returns to Tampa later that night and departs for the Czech Republic on Saturday to begin training.