By Staff Writers Marshall Byington and Lisa Lam
Graphics by Lisa Lam
This first year diver earned his way to ranking 5th at the district championships. Not only is it his first year within the sport, but because of his ranking he has qualified for the state diving competition.
Freshman Brayden Ivie’s first dives were at a waterpark for his cousin’s birthday, where he explored the diving board and found what he was capable of.
“During my middle school years, I tried gymnastics and I started getting into doing flips,” said Ivie. His mom had caught him diving at the waterpark and she advised him to do it in high school. “[When she told me], I thought, ‘maybe I’ll try that’ and now, here we are,” said Ivie.
Ivie joined the dive team during the winter of his freshman year.
How Diving Works
“Diving is 90% mental. If you’re distracted, the dive doesn’t turn out the best it could,” said Ivie. “We dive in silence most of the time because it gives us a chance to think about the dive and complete it.”
During the competition, the pressure of an audience can be a distraction in and of itself. Families, supporters and judges watch expectantly as the athletes dive in to the pool. During the dive, flips and tricks occur in which divers attempt to gather a qualifying score of 250 points. This score automatically sends you to districts at the end of the regular season, and the same occurs for 330 points to qualify for the state competition.
Judges score a dive based on a 10-point scale, and those point values are added together. This sum score is then multiplied by a number representing the degree of difficulty (DD) of the dive, ranging from 1.0 to 4.0. Ivie’s average scores range from 190 to 210 points.
During the Season
The swim and dive team has had a total of twelve meets, which includes many opportunities for the athletes to improve on their skills. “My favorite meet was probably the Aberdeen meet because that was the first meet that I got a score close to over 200,” said Ivie. Because earning a score of 250 points sends divers directly to districts, Ivie was excited about his score. “Generally, a score of 200 is pretty good,” said Ivie.
Ivie isn’t always perfect at his dives, but his family members are consistently there to support him at every meet. “There’s been a couple [of] rough meets… there [are] at least three [family members there [supporting me],” said Ivie. “[It is] just nice to have them there.”
But support comes from more than family. Timberline and North Thurston dive coach John Meyers plays a key role in teaching the athletes all that they need to know. “Meyers knows what he’s doing… he’s done this [sport] before,” said Ivie.
Another valuable supporting role has been the swim team. After each dive at a meet, swimmers sit at the side of the pool yelling “Yahtzee” whenever all three scores from the judges are the same. The team also shouts in support after any diver completes their dive. “This has been one of the greatest like team experiences I’ve had, ever,” said Ivie. “All of the guys are super nice and it just lets me know that this is something that I want to continue doing [in the future].”
State is Coming
Ivie is heading to state for diving on February 15 and 16 at the King County Aquatic Center, along with his fellow qualifying teammates for swim, including Andy Lin, Caleb Linggi, Noah Smith and Jacob Smith. Ivie has been working on his form, which is something that has been difficult for him whenever he is diving. “To prepare for state, I’ve been watching diving videos… while pointing my toes, constantly,” said Ivie.
Throughout Ivie’s season, he has seen a difference in himself. “[Dive] has been a great impact [on me],” said Ivie. “I used to not be able to dive under pressure, and now I’m going to state in a couple weeks.”