CHS dive team makes a splash


Andi Felix

Junior Keira Kuderka flips during dive practice.

Keira Kane, Social Media Editor

The Carlsbad dive team has been very successful this year, competing in many events as well as going far in CIF. Dive is a rare sport, with a team of 10 athletes at CHS.

There are many aspects to diving that senior Jack Van Wagoner enjoys, such as doing flips. Van Wagoner started diving his freshman year because he and his friend thought that it would be fun.

“I first got into diving when I was in freshman year and I was trying to find a second sport to compete for with Carlsbad,” Van Wagoner said. “One of my friends had the idea to do dive and thought it would be fun to learn some flips.”

Junior Keira Kuderka set a school record with the highest ever dive score at CHS being 268.80. She uses her past as a gymnast to help her in dive.

“I was a gymnast for 14 years and then I had to quit because of an injury,” Kuderka said. “So I just tried out something new.”

Dive athletes are posed with many challenges. One of the main difficulties is the stress that comes with getting hurt or not meeting expectations.

“One big challenge that comes with diving is the pain aspect of flopping. If you don’t execute your dive perfectly, there is a great chance you will belly flop or back flop,” Van Wagoner said. “Obviously, doing this hurts, but you also have to overcome the mental block to try the dive again to perfect it without flopping.”

There is also a thrill that comes with diving. Diving from taller platforms can be more enjoyable for some divers.

“I am at the Mission Viejo club so they have a ten meter platform and all these other platforms and it’s just kind of fun to jump off something high,” Kuderka said.

Having experience with doing flips and tricks has truly helped Kuderka’s diving career. She believes that doing gymnastics for her whole life has made her the diver she is today.

“[My favorite part of dive] is just being able to flip; gymnastics had a big impact on it,” Kuderka said.

There are many risks of diving and scary possibilities. The challenges do not stop divers such as Kuderka from doing what she loves.

“[Some challenges I face are] mental blocks definitely, I mean when you’re diving off of something high there is a big risk of getting injured,” Kuderka said.

With doing such a difficult sport such as diving there are difficult scenarios. Nerves make up a big portion of diving.

“Also another challenge is in the meets, calming the nerves to perform your dives,” Van Wagoner said. “You only have one opportunity at each dive, so it puts pressure on you to perform it well.”

Dive is scored differently than other sports. Each diver’s score reflects on how well they execute their dive off the board and in the air.

“Dive is incredibly unique because it is a sport where most of your score comes when you are detached from the ground. Not only do you have to execute difficult movements with precision, but you also have to do it with grace and creativity,” Van Wagoner said.

Van Wagoner enjoys the friendship aspect of being on the dive team. The team’s encouragement and support helps him when diving.

“My favorite part of dive is learning new dives with my friends,” Van Wagoner said. “Everyone on the team is super encouraging which helps you to feel confident in yourself to learn new dives. Throughout my years with the team, I have learned dives that I would’ve never learned before I started, and most of my determination to learn the new dives came from encouragement.”