Those who gaze at the record board near the Center Grove High School pool might want to get used to seeing Maddie Gordon’s name.
It’s going to be there a while.
Only a sophomore, the 15-year-old already is advertised as the girls program’s standard bearer in competitions incorporating 11 dives after totaling 417.6 points in her first-place finish at last season’s Franklin Sectional.
That was more than 10 months ago. The past few weekends left that sum in the dust. She scored 430.4 at the Whiteland Invitational and then 444.65 at the Dec. 15 Johnson County Meet at Indian Creek.
At this point, keeping the record board up to date might be among the Trojans’ bigger challenges.
“I think Maddie excels at the bigger meets,” longtime Trojans girls and boys swim coach Jim Todd said. “That’s just her mentality right now.”
Gordon is serious when she says she wants to be the best female diver Center Grove has produced. She’s off to a good start, having placed seventh at the state meet with a score of 411.45.
“I think that’s good for being a freshman, but I was nervous. Very,” she said. “I learned I definitely had a lot to work on. Just like making my dives look easier to do.”
Gordon’s coaches at Center Grove are Fred Hill and Nick Swift. She also trains at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI under the watchful eye of Sean McCarthy, coach of the Indianapolis-based Starz Diving Club, for which Gordon also competes.
In August, the Starz were at the Greensboro (N.C.) Aquatic Center for the 2012 Junior National Championships. Gordon impressed in all three events in the 14-15 girls age division, placing 17th at 1 meter, 18th at 3 meters and 30th in platform.
Gordon’s start in athletics came as a 2-year-old in tumbling classes, which paved the way to involvement in gymnastics.
“I started diving in seventh grade. I had been a gymnast, and when I quit my coaches said that maybe I should give diving a try,” Gordon said. “I was intimidated by it at first, but by the end of my eighth-grade season I started to realize that I could be good at this.”
To this point, every girls state diving champion from Johnson County has hailed from Franklin Community High School — Dee Boice (1980 and ’81), Dana Wiegand (1982 and ’83), Kelly Gallagher (1986) and Katie Cooper (1998).
Come February, Gordon hopes to be champion No. 5. No easy task considering three of the six girls placing ahead of her are back this season, including fellow 10th-graders Jaya Brown (Hamilton Southeastern) and Morgan Meixner (Lawrence North).
“Whatever Maddie’s goal is what I would like for her to achieve,” Todd said. “She’s diving very well right now. It’s fun to watch.”
THE GORDON FILE
Name: Maddie Gordon
School: Center Grove
Family: Parents, Gary and Colleen; sister, Katie, 18
Favorite movie: “Bridesmaids”
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite athlete: Tom Daley
Favorite dive to perform: Inward one-and-a-half