Diving Into The New Year


Jacob Whipple, senior, dives at the first home meet of 2018. “My favorite thing about diving is that even when I’m having a bad day on the boards, I still have a good time being with my teammates.” Whipple said, “I get frustrated very easily, but when things don’t go my way, I can always find a way to have a good time,” he added. The meet took place at home in the North Natatorium against Cumberland Valley.

Maya Yoxtheimer

On Tuesday, January 10th, State High hosted their first home swimming and diving meet of the New Year against Cumberland Valley. Both the girls and boys teams grabbed a win against Cumberland Valley, a team which has provided competition to State High in past seasons.

The meet began with athletes gathered in the North Building lobby near the natatorium. The coaches and teammates shared some pre-meet advice and built each other’s confidence before heading back into the locker rooms. Before entering the natatorium, the captains lead their team with a cheer from their respective locker rooms for more motivation before competing.

The meet started with relay and individual swimming events followed by a brief intermission  for the diving portion of the meet. Jacob Whipple, senior,  lead his teammates into warm ups by confidently executing all of his dives. “I was feeling rather confident in warm ups, because I hit all six of my dives with relative ease. When the competition started I carried the confidence with me through the first two rounds. In the third round I would be competing my favorite dive: a front one and one half somersaults with two twists. It is the hardest dive in my list. Unfortunately, I was unbalanced on the end of the board and had to salvage what was left of a very busy dive. This dive put me behind my teammate and I had to nail my last three dives in order to overtake him,” Whipple said.

Whipple has been practicing diving since seventh grade along with several other sports. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he began focusing on diving. “We practice five days a week for two hours with the addition of strength, conditioning, and stretching. We workout for a half hour at the start of practice, followed by stretching. Once we get on the boards, we practice many drills that our coach has written out such as double and triple bouncing front jumps, double and triple bouncing back jumps, and also basic dives to help us make our entries are as clean as possible. Every day we practice every dive that we compete which is up to eleven different dives,” Whipple said.

Once the diving portion of the meet was completed, the swimmers warmed up in the pool before racing the 500 free among other events. Luke Hurley, a senior, has been training since he was about three years old. Swimming has always been a huge part of his life and he continues to compete on a club team in addition to the State High team. This meet allowed all of Hurley’s hard work this season to pay off. “Today I swam the best I have all season. My 100 fly time was a season best by nearly 1.5 seconds. Although I was off my lifetime best time, I was happy with my overall performance. Being a part of three relays was a first for me today and we finished very well in all of them. I plan to practice more fly in practice,” Hurley said. “I have also been trying to mentally prepare before each race in order to be ready to race. I have learned that being physically ready is one thing, but mental toughness is a skill that is absolutely necessary.” he added.

Sarah Finton, a junior, also competed in the meet against Cumberland Valley. “I did unexpectedly well in today’s events, even though I didn’t swim my normal events. I plan to keep training and improve all of my strokes,” Finton said. Finton was one of many athletes whose hard work and dedication paid off at the first meet of the season. Finton made the state meet in the 200 free her sophomore year and plans to work towards doing so again this year.

The State High swimming and diving team will host another home meet on January 23rd against Central Dauphin High School at the High School North Natatorium. Until then, athletes will continue to train and practice.