Junior diver Hannah Prigge is making big waves for Fresno State’s diving team. She recently was named the Mountain West Conference Diver of the Week.
Originally born in Edina, Minn., Prigge grew up in Rocklin, Calif., and was immersed in sports, especially diving. Although, she started her sports career as a gymnast, Prigge transitioned to diving after suffering a gymnastic injury.
“I was a gymnast for 12 years. But I got injured, so I couldn’t dive anymore,” Prigge said. “I fell in love with it early, and since I like doing flips, it wasn’t too hard to pick up diving.”
High school also brought more involvement in diving for Prigge, and her passion developed quickly. A three-year varsity-letter-winning diver, Prigge earned honors three years in a row in the Pioneer Valley League.
“My most memorable moment diving in high school was during Nationals in Moultrie, Georgia. It was so exciting,” Prigge said.
In deciding which college to pursue after Prigge graduated high school, she received multiple calls from Fresno State diving coach Jeanne Fleck. Fleck saw the extensive talent that Prigge possessed and wanted her to dive for the Bulldogs and bolster their roster.
“Every week she (Fleck) called me, and we got to talking. I fell in love with the program because of her and her experience in the sport,” Prigge said.
Prigge and Fleck have grown their relationship significantly over the three years that Prigge has swum at Fresno State, and she cherishes her time under Fleck.
“I go to her (Fleck) for advice in school or diving all the time. She’s great,” Prigge said.
The competition that Prigge faces is nothing new to her. When the team travels to tournaments, teams from other conferences compete with each other. Prigge likes that the NCAA schedules meets like this as it gives her an advantage over the competition, knowing other divers more personally.
“We usually see the same girls when we travel to NCAA zone meets. We’re grouped with different conference teams (like the Western Athletic), so we see them once or twice a year,” Prigge said.
When Prigge is not diving during the season, she continues to train in the off-season to keep her skills sharp. This dedication is what makes her an excellent student-athlete and a possible up-and-coming diving star.
“I dive year round, and I train in the summer all the time,” Prigge said.
Prigge has greatly enjoyed her time at Fresno State and credits her teammates with the success she has gained. Prigge really treasures the relationship she has built with her teammates, especially Stacey Luke.
“When we’re at home, we like to hang out. We’ve gotten so close over these past three years, and we’re so supportive of each other,” Prigge said.
Although Prigge has hopes of possibly going to the Olympics one day, for the time being, she prefers to live a normal life. Her family is very important to her and spending time with her parents traveling about is a big part of her life.
“I love to go to San Francisco and hang out with my father. And in Sacramento, near home, I like to go gift shopping with my mom and travel to the beach as well,” Prigge said.
Prigge earned her award in meets contested from Nov. 12-18. This was Prigge’s first conference honor of the season.
Next up, Prigge and the Bulldogs will travel to San Diego to swim against Mountain West opponent San Diego State on Saturday at noon. That will be the final competition of 2012, and then they will begin the season again on Jan. 5, 2013, at CSU Bakersfield.