Written by Elizabeth Chung
With a new coach and new members, the dive team is off to a great season. Coach Douglas Ward has been coaching diving for around seven years; he decided to take on the role for Gunn’s team primarily because of his daughter. “For some strange reason, she has become interested in diving,” Ward said. “The coach at Gunn said he won’t be able to coach this year. He and I have been friends for the last year and a half and he’s been telling me to do it. Finally, my daughter said to do it. When your daughter says you have to do it, you have to do it.”
To sophomore Caroline Liu, the dive team was a chance for her to get back into water sports. “I used to be on the swim team but I became allergic to chlorine so I stopped,” Liu said. “I didn’t do swimming for a long time and I thought if I started swimming again, I would be too slow.” After her allergy went away, Liu decided that diving was a good alternative as she didn’t have enough time to join the swim team.
While most of the divers are beginners, senior Marisa Agarwal has been in the team for all four years and loves the sport. “I have been diving for nine years and I dive because it’s a really unique sport,” Agarwal said. “You get experience you don’t get from other sports like tumbling through the air and doing twists, especially when you get to a higher level where you can start doing flips, which give exhilarating, weightless sensations.”
Ward has two goals for the team. One is to fully assist the varsity divers. “I need to support them in whatever way I can,” Ward said. “That may mean they might need to practice at Stanford or have to study for Chemistry Honors.” For the beginners, his goal is to give them as much practice time as possible to improve their diving and give them a positive and fun team experience.
Although it is a challenging sport, diving can be filled with funny and embarrassing moments which add to the fun. “During one of our dive meets, all the swimmers were watching us,” Agarwal said. “I went up to do a dive that I normally do perfectly fine and I smacked super hard flat on my belly. There were waves throughout the pool and everyone all looked at me and it was the most embarrassing thing.”