Diving Past the Point of Pressure

Sr.+Elise+Tidwell+diving+for+her+team

Sr. Elise Tidwell diving for her team

Elise Tidwell, Co-Head Editor

Although swimmers and divers may be as opposite as water and air, the team manages a unique team bond that spans the barriers of their sports. As the girls team gears up for season, they remember that bond.

When asked about her favorite part of the team, Animas High School So. Catherine Dellinger said, “I’m really excited to see all of my teammates again because I haven’t seen them in a while. It’s really cool how close we are that we get to be like a big family, but we also get to compete.”

The closeness between athletes attributes to their success as a team. Although swimmers and divers compete against others as both are individual sports, the athletes also work to improve personally. Swim Coach Kathryn Ross works to keep personal improvement as a quintessential goal for each swimmer.

“It’s nice to be able to feel like I get to make a difference in someone’s life and see the improvement throughout the season,” said Ross.

After an exciting season last year, the team is ready to dive into the pool once again. The swim and dive team placed first at Western Slopes District Competition last year and intends to make a similar splash this upcoming season.

Not only are swimmers and divers ready to rekindle friendships, they’re incredibly excited to shake off the cobwebs as they start preseason. Freshman Sadie McAliney is unique to the team as she has been training for both swimming and diving.

“My favorite part about swimming is the whole race factor in it. I’m not very competitive, but I like being competitive in swimming. Diving is fun because I get to do flips and a different thing from swimming that is more graceful not speed,” said McAliney.

Although most girls tend to find their niche in either swimming or diving, an occasional few have been brave enough to try both. What keeps most from doing both sports is the huge time commitment both sports take. This similar factor causes a mutual level of understanding between the athletes.

“The support dynamic between the swimmers and divers are almost unparalleled to any other sport. The lack of understanding between the sports helps to actually bring them together more because I think the swimmers really appreciate what the divers do because it’s a skill beyond what they know how to do and the divers really appreciate what the swimmers know how to do because it’s a skill beyond what they know how to do. They really help to encourage each other to do their sports individually,” said dive Coach Mark Fleming.

As divers gasp in awe at the grueling 500 meter swim, swimmers often cringe as the divers hurtle off the springboard. Still, the teammates manage to push each other in unique ways.

Both sports push an athlete to their limit. Swimmers strain their bodies and lungs, while divers work at grace.

“The hardest part of diving is the mental part, overcoming your fears. I don’t think you ever totally overcome your fears, but you have to try,” said Sr. Caroline Tidwell.