Jumping up and down on the diving board, senior and diving captain Christina Archer prepares to dive as she perfects her latest dive. Archer and sophomore Bailey Hollingsworth are the sole divers on the swimming and diving team that won the SPC meet last year.
Both Archer and Hollingsworth first began diving after being encouraged to join the team as a result to their backgrounds in gymnastics.
“Sophomore year my Young Life leader was a diver and he encouraged me to try it,” Archer said. “I used to be a gymnast and I cheer, so I tumbled a lot. Diving follows along with that and it is really fun and not stressful.”
Hollingsworth, who has been diving since last season, believes that while diving can be challenging at times, her hard work and commitment allows her to ultimately be successful.
“I love diving because it’s right in my wheelhouse,” Hollingsworth said. “Not to say it is easy as it takes commitment and sometimes total abandonment of fear, but with gymnastics and cheerleading under my belt, it seemed like another great adventure.”
While swimming and diving are grouped together at the final SPC meet this weekend, varsity diving coach, Michele Pappas, describes the two sports as completely different with the only similarity being that both swimming and diving take place in the water.
“I think that diving is such a small sport that at least in college and high school it has to be associated with swimming to survive,” Pappas said. “But what is important is that divers can make such a difference at meets.”
Last year, the Swimming and Diving team took home first place at the final SPC meet. Pappas, who has been involved in the diving community for 30 years, including participating in the 1980 Olympic Trials, and specifically Hockaday for ten, and assistant swimming coach, Rachel Grabow, attribute the win to the help of Archer, Hollingsworth and Phoebe Smith ‘15.
“They [the divers] provided the points the team needed to win,” Pappas said. “Last year Hockaday won SPC because of their divers!”
This weekend, Archer, Hollingsworth and the rest of the swimming team will dive into the SPC meet at the Conroe ISD Natatorium just outside of Houston, hoping to once again take home the trophy.
– Katie O’Meara – Asst. Photo and Graphics Editor –