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Makin’ a Splash: Girls Diving Strides Toward Success


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.

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Cadence Neenan
Cadence Neenan, Web Managing Editor
By the age of 18, most kids have not yet chosen their favorite word. In fact, most teenagers have never even thought about such a question. Perhaps a few have been asked on a “Getting to Know You” sheet handed out by English teachers on the first day of school. But in that case, most probably just mindlessly scribbled words onto their sheets such as “literally,” or “totally,” or “dude.” Cadence Neenan ’15, on the other hand, has thought about this deeply. Her favorite word is “loquacious.” Neenan grew up in a home that fostered a love for all things English. With her mom as a former Staples High School English teacher and her dad as a librarian, Neenan was destined for a love affair with vocabulary, grammar, and reading. “My mom always used to read to me ever since I was little,” she said. “I love to read because I was raised to be a good reader.” In school, Neenan has opted to create a heavy course load that reflects her love of English and reading. AP Lit, AP Lang, AP Euro, and AP Gov are just a few of the difficult classes Neenan has chosen to take on. For Neenan, however, much of the learning and “fun with English” goes on outside the class material. “The other night, I was reading a poem during English class,” Neenan said. “I really liked it, so I brought it home and showed my mom. We spent the whole 45 minutes at dinner rhetorically analyzing it and talking about the devices the author used. It was so fun.” Alongside typical English classes, Neenan has also become a part of Inklings to exercise her love of writing. After taking Intro to Journalism, she fell in love with newspaper writing and, since then, has proven herself to be an essential Inklings player, as she is now the Web Managing Editor. “When I found out that I got Web Managing I had a panic attack because I was so happy,” Neenan said. “I like being a managing editor because I love the freedom the web gives me to be creative with my ideas.” Neenan also plans to use her journalism and writing skills in college and, later, in her career. “In college I want to study political science, but I am considering using that to go into journalism,” Neenan said. “Going into journalism with a focus on politics is what I am really interested in.”

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