By Steve Curlee, Villa Maria Diving Coach
A law of science states that when a system experiences rapid change in size, that system will be stressed. Villa diving has likely never had more than four divers on the roster. We have never taken more than two divers to District One Championships in a single year. This year, those numbers are eight and four. It has been a classic case of “Be careful what you wish for.”
One could get long-winded about the challenges that have arisen due to the unexpected influx of (diving) bodies; in summary, though, we have some highly committed individuals on our diving team this year, and they have made it work. The freshmen have set the pace; they, as a group, have reason to be very proud of the commitment that they each have established and of the influence that commitment has had on the team.
In both high school and college, with the exception of “invitational” diving meets, diving is contested as an event in a swim meet, much like the 50-meter freestyle or the 200 individual medley; the team accrues points for the winner and placers in each event.
- This year Villa divers competed in five dual meets and one 11-dive invitational meet. With a single exception, Riley Miller has won every meet this year in which she has competed, losing a close one when Villa Swim and Dive traveled to The Hill School in January.
In the preseason, each diver committed to the same season goal: achieve a District-qualifying score of 155 points in a dual meet. For Riley, and for Sarah Logan, that was virtually a given, as they had each qualified for and competed successfully at the District level last year. As expected, Miller, with a score of 221 points, qualified for Districts in this season’s opening meet. The sweet surprise was that freshmen Peyton Kintzley and Morgan Kelly, both big-time competitive gymnasts, each qualified for Districts in their very first diving competition! Logan was not available for the initial outing, but handily qualified in the second meet. Four is a good number; PIAA District One rules limit entry of swimmers and divers to four per team for District Championships, even though more than that may have established qualification during the season.
- On 23 Feb, Miller, Logan, Kintzley and Kelly will each dive an 11-dive list in the District One Championship competition at North Penn High School.
The top two divers from District One Championships (and occasionally a third) matriculate to PIAA State Swim and Dive Championships at Bucknell University on 13 and 14 March. Each of our four District-bound divers has a legitimate shot of being on the bus for the trip to Bucknell.
- In the meantime, we have a record SIX divers entered into the AACA Championship meet this Saturday, 9 February.
Looking ahead, the future is bright. Though Miller and Logan will graduate, we have a significant depth of excellent divers on our roster. Sophomore divers Cassadie Arpa, Maggie Devine and Selena Dillman (who knew that a dancing background would contribute so successfully to a diving future!) and freshman diver Kylie Krumenacker, in addition to Kelly and Kintzley, give us significant cause for optimism. Additionally, we expect at least one experienced freshman diver into the fold next season. Stay tuned.