Diving team prepares for Conference

DIVING+IN+Plummeting+headfirst+into+the+icy+pool%2C+Sonny+Hoekstra%2C+junior%2C+leaps+off+the+diving+board+during+practice.+The+diving+team+has+been+training+for+conference%2C+where+they+hope+to+place+in+the+top+five.+

Kristen Baurain

DIVING IN Plummeting headfirst into the icy pool, Sonny Hoekstra, junior, leaps off the diving board during practice. The diving team has been training for conference, where they hope to place in the top five.

Walking to the edge of the diving board, Sophia Brunetti, Girls’ Diving captain and senior, takes a deep breath and jumps, plunging into the deep water. 

“Diving makes me feel alive,” Brunetti said. “It’s very special to me, there is something about being in the air that lets all my worries fall away for a few moments.”

Diving spends each practice honing their dives, jumping into the water around thirty times per practice. Now, they can put their practice to action at Conference tomorrow. 

“We’ve got a list of dives that we need to perform, and so on a day to day basis, we hit each one of them about four times,” Diving Coach Michael Chelich, community member, said. “We’re trying to perfect them for the weaknesses and trying to strengthen those types of (dives).” 

Conference requires divers to perform 11 dives—a number much more daunting than the usual six. Performing 11 dives requires lots of practice and concentration. Each time divers step up the diving board, the audience must be silent so they can concentrate. 

“I’m always nervous before any competition,” Declan Taylor, sophomore, said. “But I try to just make it fun. Last year was very nerve-wracking. But this year is my second year doing it. So it’s a lot easier. Listening to music, maybe coloring, that really helps with the nerves before (swim) meets.”

The team hopes to place in the top five at Conference. If students are still interested in joining, contact Swimming Coach Tina Schmidt-McNulty, community member, at [email protected] 

“If you are looking for something new and exciting, a little more rush in your day, or just learning new skills and tricks while getting that feeling of improvement, then you should definitely check out diving,” Sonny Hoekstra, Boys’ Diving captain and junior, said.