Diving Through the Centuries
May 20, 2011 • 6,004 views
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Ka-thump…Ka-thump…Ka-thump…the sound of air whistling as a body twists and turns in the air. Splash! People cheer as a head breaks the water’s surface and the diver exits the pool while the judges announce the score. The origins of diving date back to 17th century gymnastics movement in Germany and Sweden, when gymnasts would go to the beach to practice their routines over the water. Eventually, these practices turned into something more, and diving became a sport.
Platform diving (33 feet high) for men was recognized at the St. Louis Olympic games in 1904 and in 1908 Games, springboard diving was added. Unlike men’s diving, women’s diving did not become accepted until 1912, where women took part in platform diving and, in 1920, springboard diving finally became a part of the Olympic Games for women. Women’s fancy diving became internationally recognized in 1928.
In the early days of diving, Sweden and Germany dominated diving competitions but from 1920 to 1992, the United States has become the world’s top diving competitors.
There are six types of dives that can be performed by divers, and Pres competes in them all: forward, back, reverse, inward, twisting and armstand. The goal in diving meets is for the diver to perform the dive as perfectly as she can and judges are ready to rate the fluidity and accuracy of the dive. But being judged is not the only unique aspect of this sport. “There is a huge fear factor,” said senior Kimberly Tobias. “You have to worry about hurting yourself every time you jump off the board.”
There are always cons about every sport and diving is no exception. Yet for many divers the thrills of diving far surpass any qualms they might have. “My favorite part of diving is watching your teammates throw a new dive at a meet, when you know how hard they worked to learn the dive,” said senior diver Lynn Gotuaco.
According to junior diver Caitlin Stockwell, who prior to joining diving in her sophomore year at Pres was a gymnast for 11 years, the daily practices that the Pres divers go through are similar to those of gymnastics. “Diving is a lot more laid back than gymnastics. Practice itself is usually the same, you start with stretching and conditioning, and then you go to the trampolines and dry boards. Finally, you get in the water for an hour or an hour and a half practice before you go home. You tend to do the same dives every day and you try and go through your whole list.”
The season scores this year for JV were 6-2 and for Varsity 4-4. During this year’s WCALs, Pres’ diving team was outstanding. Senior Kimberly Tobias became the League Champion with a score of 429.5; junior Caitlin Stockwell was 6th with a 352.15, which is the second highest score in PHS history. Also, junior Nicole Yuvienco was ninth overall with a 323.5, which landed her third place of all time in the PHS record books. Junior Alexa Stevens also scored for Varsity with 14th place and a 256.6.
In the JV Championship, Junior Jessica Scarborough was 2nd overall for the second year in a row with a score of 156.75, while Junior Scarlett Heffernan earned 8th with 117.3 points.
Way to go divers!