• Last modified 823 days ago (April 20, 2022)


Taking the plunge: Diver joins swim team, quickly qualifies for state

Staff writer

Marion High School swim team has added diving to the events in which its athletes can compete. The team is now known as Marion Swim and Dive.

Olivia Carlson, a Centre freshman, joined the dive team 21/2 weeks ago and already has qualified for state competition.

Competing with four other divers at Andover in her second diving event, she scored 208 points for first place, easily surpassing the minimum needed to qualify. She is ranked eighth in the state.

“I showed lots of improvements from the first meet,” Olivia said.

Her first competition was at Wichita Northwest High School, where she finished fifth of 17, with a score of 159.

Dives are usually of six types, determined by take-off positions —forward, back, inward, reverse, twist, and arm stand. In competitions, divers perform one dive of each type.

Divers are judged based on three things: takeoff, flight, and entry. Points are awarded from 0 to 10, taking into account the difficulty of moves performed in flight. The diver with the most total points for all six dives is declared the winner.

State competition will include 11 different dives.

Olivia always has enjoyed diving in the summertime, so she was happy to join the swim team as a diver when coach Randy Carlson invited her.

She has been in Skywalkers Gymnastics since second grade and has numerous first-place finishes. She has competed at the national level.

Gymnastics gives her an advantage in diving because divers require the same characteristics as gymnasts, including strength and flexibility. She practices four hours a week at Emporia.

She has two or three more diving meets before state competition May 19 to 21 at Lenexa. Her next meet will be Friday at Marion.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “It’s mental and physical.”

Last modified April 20, 2022