CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – The John Jay/North Salem swim and dive team has jumped out to a 4-2 record thanks in part to a dominating trio of sophomore divers who have earned three times more points than their opponents.
Because many Section 1 competitors lack a robust diving squad, their strong performances sometimes mean the difference between a win and loss for the Indians.
In a Sept. 19 meet at White Plains, for example, the John Jay divers outscored the Tigers by 6 points in a 94-90 win.
In fact, Lauren DeLucia, Madison Geary and Ines Nix have outscored the competition in every meet so far this season, earning 57 total points to their opponents’ 16.
How have you improved as a diver this off-season?
Lauren DeLucia: For me, diving is year-round. I’m either diving for high school or for my USA team. When high school ends, I make sure to work hard during my USA practices and learn new dives to compete for next year’s high school season.
Madison Geary: During the off-season, I attended a dive camp at Duke University. While at Duke, I learned a few new dives, improved my form and worked on some basics. This prepared me for the varsity season by increasing the degree of difficulty on some of my dives and making my dives cleaner all around.
Ines Nix: This season I have worked a lot on getting out of my comfort zone with my dives at meets. At this past meet, I competed with four of my more complicated dives that I didn’t necessarily want to do in front of the judges, but it ended up paying off and improved my overall score.
What makes your trio of divers special? Do you work out together? Learn from each other?
DeLucia: What makes us special is that we all have been diving since we were very young and not only do we dive for the same high school, we all belong to the same club team. We inspire and challenge each other to try new things and we thrive off of the friendly competition we give each other.
Geary: We are all very close friends and have been for a long time—even before we were on the high school team. We all dive at the same club team (Whirlwind Diving in New Cannan, Conn.), so we support each other all year long. The John Jay swim and dive team does not have a dedicated dive coach, so we all coach each other. We encourage each other and correct each other’s mistakes.
Nix: I think that what makes our trio of divers special is that we have all been diving together since we were very young. Maddie and I met in fifth grade at our club diving team but the trio officially began in eighth grade. That year, we started our varsity season as the only divers in all the high school. This really helped us connect; being so young and experiencing it all for the first time together. I remember our first preseason practice; we were so excited to be on the varsity team. Since there was no coach watching us, we all helped each other out, took videos of one another’s dives, inspired one another to try new dives, and cheered each other on.
What are your aspirations, both individually and as a team?
DeLucia: My aspirations personally are to make the state championships and dive in college. These goals are big, but each year I work harder and harder to reach them. All three of us have yet to make states but each year we work harder to get where we need to be.
Geary: My aspirations for this season is to make states. Hopefully, all three of us get this opportunity. Even if just one of us were to make it, we would all to the competition to show our support!
Nix: This season, our biggest goal as a team is to qualify for state championships. I remember our first year we were so excited because we thought it would be easy. We were sadly mistaken, but now we have worked hard to learn more advanced and higher-scoring dives in order to achieve our goal. Individually, I hope to continue my diving career into college and compete at the NCAA level.
What do you need to do in order to reach that goal?
DeLucia: I need to put 110 percent into my practices, stay focused, and learn new dives with higher difficulty to score more points when it matters most.
Geary: We need to reach a total score of 440 points. Last year, I got very close to the 400 mark. In order to get to 440, I need to work on increasing the degree of difficulty on my dives and focus on high-scoring consistency with the dives I am best at. Diving is a very challenging sport mentally. Keeping calm and focused during competition is key.
Nix: I need to continue to push myself at practice and at meets to make myself stronger. More importantly, I need my team there with me to encourage me to keep on going.