Veteran diver Lexi Tenenbaum leads diving teams to weekend invite

Tenenbaum is one of 10 divers participating in this weekend’s IUPUI Diving Invite.

Alyssa Hodenfield

The Minnesota diving teams will travel solo this weekend, and senior Lexi Tenenbaum will be one to look for on the women’s side.

Ten divers will head to Indianapolis, Indiana — four men and six women — for the IUPUI Diving Invitational, the first dive-only meet of the year.

“This meet in particular is going to be really good for our team just because it’s a high-competition meet,” Tenenbaum said. “Other than NCAAs or Big Tens, this is one of the hardest meets we’ll go to in terms of competition.”

Despite the tough competition the meet will bring, Tenenbaum already has a strong foundation under her belt.

Tenenbaum has built on her success with a winning start to her senior season. She won the 3-meter event in the season-opener against Wisconsin earlier this season and took second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events against Iowa.

“Individually I think [this season] has been going all right,” Tenenbaum said. “This summer I didn’t really focus on springboard, and college diving is all about springboard, so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things on [that], but on platform it’s going well.”

This is coming off of a solid junior year, when Tenenbaum placed third on the 3-meter and fourth on platform at the 2016 Big Ten Championships and was named Honorable Mention All-American after her performance at the NCAA Championships.

Tenenbaum has also stepped up into a leadership role as a senior through her training and work ethic, diving coach Wenbo Chen said.

“She’s done really well, and I know she really wants to do well,” Chen said. “She’s a senior, and it’s her last opportunity. She’s had the last two years’ experience of high level, and she’s got more confidence in herself.”

Tenenbaum hopes to make the most of her senior year after putting so much into the sport.

“It’s bittersweet, I guess, because I’ve been doing it for so long and diving is so hard on your body,” Tenenbaum said. “But it brings so many good experiences and friendships, so I’m going to miss it a lot.”

The team is excited to compete after having last weekend off to train.

Tenenbaum said it gave the divers an opportunity to focus more on practices and get some necessary rest.

The invitational will be the teams’ first opportunity to compete in the platform events and will also be a chance for the Gophers to get familiar with the site where the NCAA Championships will be held.

“I think we are very excited about this coming weekend because it’s a really high-level meet,” Chen said. “It’s very good for our divers to get over there and get used to the pool and prepare for the championship season.”