GRHS diving legend watches daughter follow in her footsteps

Jen Edelmayer, who holds the Green River High School record for diving, is watching her daughter Kaili Wadsworth follow in her footsteps.

Tyler Johnson
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GREEN RIVER, WYOMING (October 2, 2020) – Like mother, like daughter. That’s the old saying, right?

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Well, for Jen Edelmayer and her daughter Kaili Wadsworth, that saying couldn’t be more accurate.

Edelmayer, who graduated from Green River High School in 2002, holds the school record for diving with a score of 266.1. Wadsworth, who is a freshman diver at Green River, wants to break her mom’s record before she graduates in 2024.

“It just gives me a goal to work toward. One of the things on my bucket list is to take down her record. It’s at the top of my list,” Wadsworth said. “It makes me want to work harder on my dives because I don’t want some rando beating my mom’s record. It just makes me proud that I have family that is so good at something that I love to do.”

Kaili Wadsworth taking a dive. Courtesy photo taken by Colt Reese.

Like her mother, Wadsworth began swimming at a young age. However, neither one of them really enjoyed swimming as much as diving.

“You dive because you’re pushing yourself to the edge. It’s a mindset thing. You have to be compassionate, but you have to hold yourself and others to a level of radness. I liked that a lot,” Edelmayer said.

Wadsworth added there’s a certain thrill she gets when she dives.

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“In diving, I could just hit my head on the board accidentally. With swimming, you’re just swimming. I’ve never hit my head on the board. I’ve come close to hitting my feet on the board though,” she said.

Edelmayer never pushed her daughter to swim or dive. She pushes her daughter to experience life and develop life skills. Diving was something Wadsworth just wanted to do.

“I don’t want to put so much expectations on her to be good at something so terrifying. Honestly, to this day, I don’t push it. I push the life skills. I push the experiences. I push the team building parts and the control of emotions. Like, ‘Hey. What are we actually here for?’ We’ll talk about the highlights. Face the fear and take the hard pops. You can be harder on yourself when there’s an actual consequence,” Edelmayer said.

She wants home to be an escape from all the competition. However, if Wadsworth asks for advice, her mom is always willing to help.

“If she asks for it. From my experience in nine years of competitive sports, I felt like home needs to be a safe place to be and separate home from the competitiveness,” Edelmayer said.

As a freshman, Wadsworth has already qualified for the state meet. When she found out, she and her family were enthusiastic.

“I started crying, jumping and screaming. We were all together and were jumping and screaming,” she said.

“My two friends had qualified and I really wanted to qualify as a freshman. I feel like lettering as a freshman is a huge accomplishment. It’s rare for a freshman to qualify for state in swimming or diving, at least.”

Wadsworth has two favorite dives. She likes her front one and a half, as well as her back somersault with a back twist. She said they feel more natural.

When she’s on board, she cancels out the distractions and tries to not think about the dive.

“If I think too hard on the dive, I’ll overthink it. So most of the time, I’m listening to my surroundings and think about the dive in the back of my head. If I overthink about it, I over rotate. I just know what I’m going to do and do it,” she said.

The state swimming and diving meet is nearly a month away in Laramie.

For Edelmayer, she’ll get to relive some memories from her high school days as she watches her daughter compete.

For Wadsworth, she’ll be making a splash of her own in the family’s diving legacy at Green River.

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