Makin’ a Splash: Girls Diving Strides Toward Success

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When featuring the Staples girls’ swim team, “Good Morning Staples” once talked about how unknown the sport was. However, the show failed to mention the fact that it is actually the swimming and diving team. That’s how unknown the Staples girls’ diving team is.

The diving team is larger than ever before. The eight girls on the team have more than doubled the size of last year’s team. The girls practice a lot: six days a week for about two hours a day.

Diving is a fairly unknown sport, and most girls on the team heard about it only by word of mouth or from the popular diving events shown at the Olympics. However, many feel that diving for Staples is more than just a sport.

“We are all supporting and helping each other like one big family,” Sonia Klein ’16 said.

For how unknown it is, the team has done well at its meets this year. The diving team has been successful in its first meet, an away diving meet in Ridgefield. Divers Eliza Donovan ’16 and Sophia Stanley ’16 competed for the first time along with Olivia Crosby ’15. The girls proved the team’s skills, with Crosby placing first at the meet, Stanley placing third, and Donovan placing fourth.

A diver’s score is based on the difficulty level of her dive and how well the dive is executed. Every dive has a level of difficulty, with a typical one being about a 1.8.

As the diver performs the six dives required of her at the meet, she is scored by three judges, each of whom scores each diver out of ten. Once all of the judges’ scores have been added up, they multiply that number by the degree of difficulty.

For the divers, the meets aren’t quite so simple. They have more to think about than just a score. Getting into the “rhythm of the board,” according to coach Dan Long, is difficult. Divers agree.

“I’m not used to having to manipulate a large piece of metal,” Kacey Hertan ’16 said.

Yet, according to Long, not even the board or the pressure from the judges is the most difficult part about diving.

“Every kid has a certain fear that’s sort of inside them, and, ironically, certain dives bring out those fears,” Long said. “Everybody has fears in terms of diving, and it’s just a matter of time before you discover those fears. And then you have to deal with them.”

That’s a pretty high standard for such a small team. But then again, the Staples girls’ diving team is used to jumping off the edge of a metal board suspended above a pool.

They can handle it.