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2015 Woman of the Year finalist: Kristin Day

This Clarion diver proved she could soar

Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Kristin Day maintained a perfect grade-point average in chemistry and competed for Division II diving national championships. Alone, either of those accomplishments would be enough to satiate most people’s ambitions. Not Day. She aimed – no, bounced – higher.

Through most of college, Day spent her time away from the pool and the lab as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Trampoline & Tumbling Team. Many evenings after classes and diving practice, she made the 35-minute drive home for trampoline practice, where her mom – who doubled as her coach – was waiting to put her through drills.

Eventually, though, Day reached a crossroads. She ended her trampoline career in 2013 when the international travel the sport required began to take too much time away from her classwork. That decision, while difficult, has paid off: Day’s academic performance was strong enough to garner an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which she is parlaying into her pursuit of a medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The end of her trampoline career also gave her more time to devote to diving – and she took full advantage. During her junior year, Day won the Division II national championship in both the one- and three-meter events. As a senior, she earned another championship in the one-meter. Along the way, she battled through injuries, while never losing sight of her long-term goals.

“During my college career, I’ve learned how to manage myself during hard times and overcome obstacles,” Day said. “I really enjoyed my major, I loved the faculty and I grew as an athlete.”