Dive Team Resurfaces

Vincent+Nguyen+competing+%28Photographed+by+Molly+Kennedy%2FTerrier+time+staff%29
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Dive Team Resurfaces

Vincent Nguyen competing (Photographed by Molly Kennedy/Terrier time staff)

Vincent Nguyen competing (Photographed by Molly Kennedy/Terrier time staff)

Molly Kennedy

Vincent Nguyen competing (Photographed by Molly Kennedy/Terrier time staff)

Molly Kennedy

Molly Kennedy

Vincent Nguyen competing (Photographed by Molly Kennedy/Terrier time staff)

Molly Kennedy, Sports Editor

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Sophie Coyne competing (Photographed by Molly Kennedy)

The WSHS Dive Team has faced one setback after another in recent years. First in the old high school, the diving board was deemed unsafe and removed several years before that school closed. Things appeared to look up for the team after the new high school opened in 2014 because the building had a brand-new 6 lane pool and a diving board as well as a pool that met diving specific measurements. The victory was short lived, however, because in 2017, the board broke once again, and the team was forced to take a hiatus for a second time. This winter sports season, however, the dive team is back to doing what they do best- contributing much-needed points to the WSHS swim teams that often mean the difference between a win or loss.

This year there are four divers Vincent Nguyen, Sophie Coyne, Dylann Terlik, and Keolani Yogi, who are coached by Christine Cousineau. Cousineau’s goals for the team are, “for each diver to learn at least one dive from each of the five categories of diving and to help support the team by competing during the meets.” Cousineau would also like to see the team come closer to sectionals.

All four divers practice together everyday and have formed strong bonds. They practice for about two and a half hours a day. Terlik enjoys practicing diving with her teammates but admits it can be difficult. They use different tactics in order to perfect their dives. “Sometimes we record the dives so we can see what we are doing wrong and right,” Coyne said. In diving there is a lot to learn and a lot of going back and self critiquing.

There are five different types of dives: inward, back, twist, forward, and reverse. Each dive has a unique dive number and a degree of difficulty ranging from 1.2 to over 3. Diving is scored based on how well the dive is executed. There are five people judging a dive during a high school swim meet. The highest and lowest score is dropped and the remaining three are added together. Then the three scores are added together and multiplied by the degree of difficulty. Diving can help increase points in meets so it was a disadvantage when the swim team could not dive in meets.

In a meet divers are expected to perform six different dives. The first dive of each meet is called the voluntary dive. Divers must do a dive from the voluntary category in order to compete. The voluntary dive category changes each week depending on that week’s categories. The three categories include the five different types of dives. Four out out of the five of next dives must be from each of the different categories. The divers agree the hardest part of competing is the mental aspect of it, and if you mess up one dive it is hard not to let that affect the rest of your dives.

During meets it is very important to be cautious of the order in which you are supposed to do each dive. If the diver completes the wrong dive then they get scored a zero, which is a failed dive. If you get two failed dives you will get disqualified, which means you can’t earn points for your team during the meet. Meets can be very stressful for divers. All the attention is focused towards them according to Terlik. During the meet, when diving, the pool area must be “dead silent.” The entire swim meet must be silent so there are no distractions. “On the board, I’m just trying to calm myself and to run through each dive in my head,” said Nguyen.

Over the past few years the dive team has been doing very well. Vincent Nguyen recently set a new 6 dive record with the score of 192.90 beating the last record of 189 set in 2017, he also qualified for states. “Diving is really difficult on your mind and it can definitely be very a mentally straining sport.” Nguyen said

If you are looking for a winter sport in a fun supportive environment. Diving is a varsity sport, so it is intense and takes a lot of time and effort. As Nguyen mentioned “It’s definitely a taxing sport on both your physical and mental state, but it’s enjoyable and the team atmosphere is the best part.”

Don’t forget to go and support the West Springfield Swim and Dive team!