Lack of diving leadership makes a detrimental splash in the success of swimmers

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Lack of diving leadership makes a detrimental splash in the success of swimmers

Emily Clark practices a dive by herself during a practice earlier this week.

Emily Clark practices a dive by herself during a practice earlier this week.

Emily Clark

Emily Clark practices a dive by herself during a practice earlier this week.

Emily Clark

Emily Clark

Emily Clark practices a dive by herself during a practice earlier this week.

Carly Lundry, News Editor

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Although swimming and diving are different sports, the two are scored together, causing the lack of a PV diving coach to negatively affect the success of the swim team in big competitions.

PVGSD (Pleasant Valley Girls Swimming and Diving) was never provided a coach for the 2019 season. Following PV alumni and state champion Claire Park’s elite all-state diving career, diving coach Bethany Hovland moved out of the quad-city area in 2017.

Without a coach, the three members of the diving team are forced to discipline themselves. Junior, Emily Clark, is a leading member of the team and finds it very difficult being her own coach. “We don’t know if we’re doing the dives right and we have to watch on YouTube how to do them correctly. I would definitely improve a lot more having a coach,” she said.

The diving team also lost three members as the season progressed, which Clark believes could have been prevented if they had a coach. 

PV swimmers traveled to the United Township Invitational meet on Oct. 12 and placed third overall. The outcome of these competitions is a combination of the results from the two sports.

However, with no coach specifically for the diving team, Clark and her teammates were not able to attend that specific meet. At most invitationals, divers compete in the morning and swimmers arrive separately for competition in the afternoon. Before the start of the swimming portion, Pleasant Valley found themselves 120 points behind the leader. These crucial points were missing from the lack of divers at the meet. 

The most upsetting thing is that the swim team won the swimming portion of the competition, which in any other sport would result in complete victory. However, PV took home the bronze, largely due to other schools receiving diving points. 

Both swimmers and divers at PV agree that each sport should be competed separate from each other. Lauren Puthoff, a sophomore swimmer, thinks it is completely unfair on both sides. “It is unfortunate that the success of the diving team affects the swim team because without a diving coach it affects the swim team greatly and limits the chances PVGSD has at winning invites,” she said. 

The notion that swimmers and divers both compete in swimming pools and therefore are scored together is like saying volleyball and basketball should be scored together because they both hold their competitions in gyms. 

Pleasant Valley divers are affected the most out of this situation, but swimmers are receiving the indirect effects as their success has to be built upon a strong diving foundation. Without a coach, neither program can flourish to its’ potential and compete as one.