Aerial Attack: Divers launch into postseason

dive1By: Annebeth Ahrenholz

It’s been a successful season for women’s diving, and they are working hard to prepare for Regionals and qualifying for State. There are four CFHS divers: freshman Jordyn Valentine and sophomores Maia Clasby, Alexa Balong and Madison Schoppe.

Valentine has been diving for about a year. She swam when she was very little. Her older sister was on the swim team, so she would always watch the divers during the meets while her sister swam.

Valentine said she loves the team that she is a part of. “The team is a big reason why I enjoy diving because everyone is so nice and fun to be around. Also, it’s just fun to jump off a diving board every day,” she said.

This year has been her first as a diver, since she is a freshman. Although Valentine has high hopes of accomplishments in the future, she said, “I don’t have a lot of accomplishment in diving yet because this is my first year, but, hopefully, there will be many in the future. I just want to go through the seasons and hopefully get to dive at the college level.”

This season has gone very well so far for Valentine, and she said she has done a lot better than she expected to do.

She will continue to practice trampoline and lift weights year round, and get back on the diving board in June.

Balong has been diving for about eight or nine months now. She had done Blast a while back but was never on the CFHS swim team.

Balong’s favorite part of diving is always knowing there is something to work toward. “I love the feeling of being scared, I guess, and I love how it always gives you something to work towards. There is always going to be a dive I can work towards,” she said.

She started diving because she was ready to try something new and different.

“I like a challenge once in awhile. Since I didn’t want to do volleyball and one of my best friends had been bugging me to come to a practice with her and try it, I decided, why not?”

Getting over fears of diving has been Balong’s biggest accomplishment so far.

“Once you get past the fear factor of something, then you can do anything you want with that dive. It has definitely helped me dive2 copywith my patience, but my biggest accomplishment would probably be getting my back somersault 1½ dive,” Balong said.

Balong does not know what she will do with diving after high school.

“I’m just loving it right now in the moment. I want to do it through the rest of high school, but beyond that, whatever happens, happens,” she said.

Balong’s first season went alright, according to her, and she has high hopes for future seasons.

“I am currently in the middle of learning a bunch of new, fun dives that I will hopefully get to through next year that will help me get more points since they have a higher degree of difficulty,” she said.

Balong would love to practice all year long if she was able. “I do not have a coach for the rest of the year. I will start back up in June and go all through the summer, which I am very excited about,” Balong said.

Schoppe has been diving for around three years. She never swam but was a gymnast for a long time before starting to dive.

“I think my favorite part is the thrill, and I’m really competitive, so meets get really intense, and it is fun to challenge yourself,” she said.

Schoppe’s highest accomplishment in her opinion is winning the MVC diving meet this year.

She said she hopes to dive in college in a couple years.

“The season has gone amazing this year. My team and I have been placing really well,” Schoppe said.

She also plans to keep lifting and trying to get better during the off season.

Clasby has been diving for just over one year. She was a swimmer prior to being a diver, and she still swims also.

“I love learning new dives and doing really good dives in practice after my coach tells me how to fix it, and then being able to fix it,” she said.

Clasby has been able to dive on top of swim this year.

“I think my highest accomplishment in diving is just being able to dive and swim this year, and still perform well. I have learned many new dives thanks to our coach Vic Laughlin. Our whole team has done really well this year,” Clasby said.

Clasby said she hopes to pursue diving in college and make it to State this year.

“My season has gone a lot better than it did last year when I just started. I have accomplished a lot of new dives, and I still have some new dives I hope to accomplish in time for Regionals.”

Clasby plans to practice the remainder of the year, just not quite as frequently.

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