Diving Maintains Practices, Hones Skills

Freshmen divers make-up team, foster competition

Collin Craig ’24 preforms a dive during practice this season.

Luke Lentini

Collin Craig ’24 preforms a dive during practice this season.

Noor Naseer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

     This year has brought unique challenges for each sport; with mask mandates, social distancing measures, and other restrictions, practices and games look very different. Diving, however, is one sport that has remained largely unchanged.

     The diving team consists of three athletes: Colin Craig ‘24, Luke Lentini ‘24, and Michael Hackett ‘24. Craig and Lentini have been teammates since the seventh grade. Craig shares, “I started it at country club because I liked being at the pool and my mom signed me up for it and that was kind of that. And then going into seventh grade when I was choosing my sports, I saw that diving was available and thought I’d try it, and I really loved it.”

     Lentini echoes this love for the sport saying that his favorite aspect is “The challenge of it because it’s rewarding, and I think it’s a lot different from any other sport.” Craig elaborates on this challenge sharing, “[Diving] is a huge mental sport…When you want to learn a new dive, most of the time you’ll have a mental block that you have to break through in order to get it. This happens to everyone in diving. For example, reverse dives are insanely scary because you’re flipping back towards the board, and it took me a while to do it because every single day I did not want to do it.”

    Despite the unique mental challenge that diving poses, both Lentini and Craig have big goals for this season. Lentini shares that he wants to get four new dives: “Two and a half (I kind of already got it), inward double, reverse one and a half, and a double twister.” Craig shares that “My diving goal would be to PR better. My original goal was to get 200 [points], and I already broke that at our first meet. My general goal though would be to break Brandon Pearson’s ‘14(?) record, which is what is up on the record board right now for six dive and possibly 11 dive if I can before my friend Luke does.”

     In regards to the interaction the divers have with the swimmers on the team, Craig explains that “I like to think of it as almost being a fan of the swim team, and then they actually know you, so it’s almost like you’re a sibling of a swimmer.”

     Overall, diving looks very similar compared to past years. Divers have to wear masks during conditioning, warmups, and on the pool deck, but with the built in social distancing that comes with the individuality of there only being one person on the board at the time, and small team size, practice feels largely the same.