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San Diego State diver making big splash in competitions

Gonzalez says she was ready to quit diving when she arrived at SDSU, but the environment including coaches and other divers have made the sport more enjoyable.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego State senior Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez is a multi-year Mountain West Conference champion in diving. “She's got a high level of talent,” said Aztecs Diving Coach Roland McDonald. He added, “And she's just a terrific kid.”

She is a three-time winner of the conference Diver of the Year award. Impressive, when you consider she was ready to give up the sport when she arrived at San Diego State. “It surprised me a little because I was like ready to be done with diving before I came here,” Gonzalez said. “I feel like it helped me a lot. Like the environment, the coaches, and the team. It was like a little change from my club team, because I would practice with little kids. Coming here to a group of girls, it's like a little family. It’s so much different. It makes it more enjoyable.”

Ximena is studying International Business Finance. Fitting since she grew up in Tijuana, where she was recruited as early as her sophomore year in high school by Coach McDonald, “I was very anxious to recruit her and I'm even more thrilled now that she's here. That's how we look at recruits. You try to extrapolate that into what you think the future is going to bring. She's on track doing everything I could have imagined,” said Coach McDonald.

Ximena will do an internship in Spain this summer and then will return for a fifth year of competition next year.

“I really enjoy competing,” Ximena said. “I like that feeling of standing there and everyone's looking at me and everything's so quiet. I like the adrenaline, the adrenaline you get when you're doing a dive that they're about to score.”

Ximena already owns school records in the one meter, three meter and platform events. She’ll be back next year to try and top them.

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