On October 14, 2015, Sophia Stanley broke the 18-year old school record in a diving competition during the girls’ swim and dive team’s meet at Staples against Ridgefield High School.
“I had no idea that I was going to break the school record today. I knew that I had a chance, but I certainly didn’t think I could do it,” Stanley said.
After scoring a 5.5 and a 4 out of a possible perfect 10 on her fourth dive, it seemed nearly impossible to surpass the record.
“I was certainly upset with my fourth dive,” Stanley said. “They were both extremely difficult, but I quickly moved on from them and focused on my next set.”
Stanley rebounded nicely and scored a 7 and a 6 on her next two dives. She stood at 167.6 points through her first five dives, but the school record had slipped even further from her grasps.
“I knew that I would have to be near perfect on my final dive if I wanted any shot at making it onto the leaderboard,” Stanley said.
Once the announcer called her name for the final dive of the day, Stanley quickly regained her composure, took a deep breath and approached the diving board.
She would have to execute two extremely difficult dives flawlessly—a back one and a half somersault and an inward one and a half somersault. These are classified as level two dives: the highest level of difficulty for a dive.
“I was hesitant about performing a back one and a half somersault because I wasn’t landing them in practice the day before,” Stanley said. “My coach told me that I’d nail it though and that gave me the confidence to go through with it.”
After perfecting her final dive, Stanley was still completely unaware of what she had just accomplished.
“After hearing the announcers call out my scores, I quickly began to calculate in my head how I did overall,” Stanley said.
And then it hit her.
Stanley scored a combined total of 251.4 points to exceed the previous record of 250.2 points.
“I feel to my knees after hearing those scores. I was so shocked and stunned,” Stanley said. “I didn’t go into the meet with the intention of breaking the record, but I’m really glad I came out with it. This was certainly my top goal going into the season and I finally accomplished it.”