New twists: Former gymnast turns into diving star

May 2015 Posted in Other
Madison Cock will compete in diving for Unversity of Utah

Madison Cock will compete in diving for Unversity of Utah

By James Day

Gymnastics’ loss proved to be diving’s gain in the case of Silverton’s Madison Cock.

A former level 9 gymnast for the Athletic Edge in Salem who had to give up the sport for health reasons, Madison switched to diving just over a year ago and has made a big splash in the new sport.

In her first year, she was a state tower and springboard champion and the Silverton High School senior has signed to compete for the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Madison said she was attracted to the Utes because it is a Pac-12 Conference school with a “fabulous team and coach.”

Madison stepped away from gymnastics after her second ankle surgery … with the possibility of a third looming.

“I had done gymnastics hard core since I was 9 years old so essentially that was all I knew,” she said. “Unfortunately my body just wouldn’t cooperate and allow me to do it any longer. They (the gymnastics club) were my friends, family and support group, so it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.”

Difficult also describes the challenge of competing in diving as a high-schooler, since the Oregon School Activities Assoc. does not sanction the sport. Madison trained at the Tualatin Hills Dive Club in Beaverton. It is the only competitive diving club in Oregon.

“So I have to drive an hour each way six days a week to train then I get to do my homework and study after practice,” Madison said. “It is also hard since the typical/traditional high school sports seem to get all the recognition and truthfully most of those athletes won’t continue on to college competing in those sports, let alone get a scholarship to a Division I Pac-12 school.”

Madison said the gymnastics skills she learned made for a smooth transition.

“I can use a lot of my same twisting/flipping and body control skills I learned from gymnastics,” she said.

Madison, a National Honor Society member with a 3.71 grade-point average, is looking to major in exercise science/pre-med at Utah. She became interested in chiropractic after being a patient of Silverton’s Dr. Christopher Allen.

Madison’s older brother Austin also knows a bit about competing in a nontraditional sport. After a stellar junior shooting career Austin signed to join the rifle team at Jacksonville State in Alabama. Austin was a sophomore for the Gamecocks this season and the squad won its fourth consecutive Ohio Valley Conference championship and took fifth in the NCAA championships. Jacksonville State has participated at the NCAA meet in each of the past five years.

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