El Estoque

Diving: Season opens with new dives and high hopes

Karen Ma

Shrieks from teammates resounded from the hot tub as a diver belly flopped into the deep end of the pool. After a few seconds, she resurfaced, hoisted herself out of the pool and joined the other four girls, all while laughing and groaning in pain.

The usual during diving season.

Last season, all but one of the divers, captain sophomore Demetra Williams, had started out as novices. Williams had come within four points of making All-American score, but the rest of them had never competed all the way to leagues. This season, diving coach Gregg Mahurin hopes to qualify everyone for league finals, an 8-dive meet where divers complete eight different dives for a total score, and for Williams to qualify for CCS, and possibly states. Sensing the challenge, Mahurin hopes for the team to train their hardest and enjoy the sport.

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Sophomore Ellen Li warms up with a front jump straight. Feet first, she practices the approach and hurdle for dives.

“I used to compete, and I found that when I was having fun, I learned more,” Mahurin said. “So, I try to make it an enjoyable time to learn.”

Meanwhile, as the new team captains, Williams and sophomore Michelle Kwan plan to improve not just the difficulty but the execution of the team’s performed dives through encouraging, motivating and keeping the team on task throughout the season. Their goal for the season is for everyone to master the reverse dive, one of the most mentally challenging dives.

“[The key is to] visualize, not overthink it,” Kwan said. “Mental is a big part of diving.”

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Captain sophomore Demetra Williams executes a 103 forward 1 ½ somersault pike. Williams has been diving for four years.

Aside from enhancing the team’s skill, Williams aspires to unify the girls and improve the team dynamic.

“Last year, we weren’t really like a team, and we weren’t close as individuals,” Williams said. “This year, I was hoping that even though diving is an individual sport, it’d be nice if everyone worked together to improve collectively.”

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Sophomore Emily Zhang performs a 101 forward dive straight. This dive is an introduction to twisters.

With an efficient training program, a positive environment and a hopeful team, Mahurin and the divers anticipate an exciting season to come.


 

Diving season preview

Photos by Karen Ma.