Swimming, diving team builds off of previous season


Shannon McCabe & Lauren Shank, Reporters

Now that preseason is almost here, many members of the Big Spring High School swimming and diving team are looking to build onto the phenomenal season held last year at the pool. Last season, Les Stover achieved his 400 wins, sent 10 girls and boys to the PIAA District 3 competition, and from that meet, sent 5 swimmers and 3 divers to the PIAA Class AA State Competition where they all placed.  

For this upcoming season, Stover talked about the challenges and goals that were faced. The challenges generally included, figuring out how to face the opponent and allowing all swimmers to swim in their speciality events. Goals that were achieved from last season included the amount of young swimmers who made it into postseason and the swimmers who made it to districts. From the outstanding success of last season, Stover hopes to do the same for this year. Stover’s plans for this season’s set-up will be relatively similar to last. “Although,  I always look for new and challenging types of workout ideas and drills” said Stover. Not only does Stover prepare the workouts for the team, but he also expects the swimmers to give their best every time they arrive at practice. As a team, “they should challenge themselves, push each other, support each other, and just enjoy the sport.” said Stover.

From an athlete’s perspective, Senior, Jarod Anderson wants to excel in events that he normally does not swim, have fun, and achieve a State gold in the 100 meter breastroke. While senior, Bailey Lehman said, “One of my goals is to move up to third on the top ten list for the 100 backstroke.” She also wants to make it to the district medal stand with her relay team one more time for her final senior year. On the diving side, Senior Dillon Novak also has many goals in mind.

Last season, Novak broke the 6-dive record, and was Co- District and State Champion. This year Novak said he wanted to become the PIAA State Champion, break the 11-dive record, rebreak the 6-dive record, and to achieve 2 and ½ somersaults in every direction. These directions are forward, backward, inward, and reverse. Inward position is starting standing backwards on the board while rotating forward. Reverse is starting forward with an approach and rotating backwards. These dives will put up a high degree of difficulty for Novak.

On the coaching perspective of diving, Richard Sample gave his insight to the sport. His goals for this season is to build on last year’s phenomenal season and “work toward meeting each diver’s individual goal, increase strength and flexibility, improve each divers medal standing over last year.” said Sample. For beginning divers, Sample said, “They should develop strength, flexibility, and confidence overall. Also, they should learn at least two dives in each of the 5 basic diving categories. Lastly, they should have fun while integrating into the ‘entire diving squad.” Sample has been coaching for over 25 years and has been putting many divers on medal stands through the BSAC club to high school. Being a coach means Sample has to coach divers of different abilities. Sample said, “I need to understand each diver’s goals and aspirations for the coming year and compare it to their overall physical conditioning. Each practice, we return to the basics of getting the maximum lift (or riding) from the board, understanding what is required, and the power to accomplish each dive.” Sample’s most important rule for coaching is to always remember to smile, breathe, and have fun.

On December 9 and 10 the swimming and diving team will participate in the Dover Invitational at Dover High School. Their first dual meet will be home against Boiling Springs at 4 on Dec. 13.