Iowa diver Boschult a one-man team


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Addison Boschult knew he would be the only male diver for the Hawkeyes, but that made his decision to come to Iowa even easier. He said he looked at being the sole male as an opportunity to get more one-on-one time with diving coach Todd Waikel, who he said was the main reason behind his choice.

Boschult said it would be nice to have another guy to be able to practice and compete with, but he noted that the Hawkeye women divers are helpful and that he finds himself competing with them during practice.

Waikel agrees that the women have been role models for Boschult.

“The team, particularly the veterans, have been just wonderful and have been really cheering him along the way and helping him out,” Waikel said. “There’s been a void there, because there isn’t another male diver. The women have been great at picking up the pieces to help him along.”

Boschult said his coach has also helped him along. Because his hometown Omaha school only had a women’s swimming and diving team, he looked at both Minnesota and Iowa. After he learned last year that Waikel would be the new diving coach, he chose to represent the Black and Gold.

“I found out that he was from Indiana, and I know it’s a really good diving school,” he said. “The more I looked into it and did research on him, I noticed that he had really good credentials, and I thought it would be a really good fit.”

Boschult isn’t the only one who has benefited from the new coach’s expertise. Waikel said taking over the Hawkeye diving program has been a smooth process. Hawkeye junior diver Abby Grilli said Waikel brings a lot to the team through his enthusiasm, and his excitement prepared them well for the Hawkeye Invitational on Nov. 30.

In the beginning of the season, the team learned a lot from Waikel’s coaching style. Grilli said the new coach has emphasized more technique and different skill work for the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards.

Grilli, who was the runner-up in the 3-meter event, was happy with the overall performances at the invitational.

“I was really proud of us. I think we definitely represented Iowa really well,” she said. “We had a lot of fun with it, and we just tried to do what we do in practice.”

Under Waikel’s coaching, Boschult said, he has sharpened his skills and the coach has helped a lot with technique. Those improvements led Boschult to a third-place finish in his first-ever platform competition.

Waikel said some would see it as a disadvantage to be in Boschult’s situation — the only male on a diving team. But the freshman has not made that the case at all, and instead, he has embraced it.

“A lot of guys probably wouldn’t like that, and maybe he doesn’t, I don’t know,” Waikel said. “You certainly don’t see it in his training, and you don’t see that in his attitude. You don’t see in the way he presents himself or in the way he carries himself.

“I keep telling him that he’s our army of one. He’s really just kind of championed the cause.”

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