Kailey Roux has earned a lot of diving success in a relatively short amount of diving time.

The Hancock College sophomore will shortly be headed to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) women's Swimming and Diving State Championships for the second straight year.

Roux qualified fifth in the 1-meter diving event Friday and fourth in the 3-meter diving Saturday at the Southern California Regional Diving Championships at El Camino College in Torrance.

She finished second among Western State Conference divers in both events. Last year, Roux won the WSC 3-meter diving championship and finished second in the WSC in the  1-meter event at the regional.

The CCCAA swimming and diving meet will take place May 2-4 at Cupertino-based De Anza College.

Many accomplished divers take up the sport not long after their first day in school. Not so with Roux.

"I've been diving for five years," Roux said Wednesday, shortly before she was to depart with the rest of the Hancock swimming and diving contingent for the women's Western State Conference Championships that will take place Thursday through Saturday at Santa Clarita-based College of the Canyons.

"Growing up, I wanted to be a gymnast," said Roux. "Then I got hurt, and I knew my gymnastics career was coming to an end. My gymnastics coach also happened to be a diving coach and she said, 'Hey, why don't you transfer to Orcutt Academy and dive there?'"

Roux did just that. "I transferred from Righetti and went to Orcutt Academy the last two years before I graduated," from high school, she said.

She graduated from Orcutt Academy in 2014. Then she took a break from school for awhile.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do," Roux said. "Why go to school if you don't know what you want to do?"

Now, Roux said, she knows what she wants to do.

"I want to go into wine making," said Roux. In fact, she hustled to Hancock from a shift at work Wednesday in order to get taped and catch the bus, that was parked in a school parking lot, along with the rest of her teammates that would transport them to the WSC meet.

Roux said, "I work at Zaca Mesa Winery in Los Olivos."

She scored a total of 155 points in the 3-meter diving and 141.65 points in the 1-meter event at the 2019 regional. Her 2018 regional scores were 130 in the 1-meter event and 181.65 in the 3-meter event.

"She qualified (for the state meet) solidly in both events this year," said Hancock swimming and diving coach Mike Ashmore.

"Last year was more of a nail biter." Even though Roux won the WSC title in the 3-meter event and was the runner-up at 1-meter, her overall finishes at the region were seventh in the 3-meter and 10th in the 1-meter.

This year, the top eight overall divers in both events at the regional advanced to the state meet.

"Qualifying more easily this time was definitely a load off my mind," said Roux.

"I'm diving the way I want to right now. I might add a dive or two for the 3-meter event. I'm not changing anything for the 1-meter event."

Roux, with a score of 156.70, finished ninth out of 19 divers at the 2018 state championships. She wound up 10th, with a score of 149.35, out of 17 divers in the 3-meter event at the 2018 CCCAA championships.

The only Bulldog to compete at the state meet, Roux's results put Hancock 25th out of 41 women's teams.  

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.