Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 | 1:09 a.m.
UNLV transfer Jordyn Lauten is no stranger to the Buchanan Natatorium's diving boards.
While the sophomore may have gotten her start in collegiate competition at the University of Redlands, a Division III school, Lauten's diving career began at Coronado with high school and club team meets at UNLV.
A two-time Sunrise Region Champion and two-time state runner-up with the Cougars, Lauten continued to see success at the college level taking the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic title in the three-meter event and qualifying for the Division III National Meet.
"My time at Redlands was less intense," Lauten said. "I liked it there and I felt like I was improving. It was satisfying to qualify for nationals just because it made it seem like all the hard work was paying off. I was proud of myself."
This year, Lauten changed her major to nursing, a major Redlands does not carry. She said her search for a new school was a short one as she decided quickly to reunite with UNLV coach Julie Weddle, Lauten's former club team coach.
"(Weddle) is a great coach and she knows how I am mentally. She knows my habits and she knows how to tell me something so that it will stick," Lauten said. "We have a pretty good relationship."
Weddle, who consulted Lauten in her original decision to attend Redlands, said she was happy to have her former student back in the fold. Lauten has formed a continually improving one-two punch with freshman Rachelle Zuccaro. The two teamed up to sweep Air Force on Jan. 16, with Zuccaro taking first place and Lauten taking second in the three-meter event.
"It's hard to compare Division III competition to Division I, but Jordyn definitely picked up experience and that's what she needs most right now," Weddle said. "She's a very hard worker and she gives it her all. She just needs more experience and to work on some more difficult dives."
Lauten said she is hoping to make the top 16 at the Mountain West Conference Championships beginning Feb. 25.
She said she feels caught up now to the rigors of diving for a Division I program. "I'm definitely improving. That's really all I can ask of myself right now is to improve whenever I can," she said.
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].