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Diving into success

BY IAN MURPHY | OCTOBER 23, 2014 5:00 AM

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For the Iowa men’s diving team, diving is just as much mental as it is physical, and that attitude has been apparent through the Hawkeyes’ first two meets.

In Iowa’s first meet at home, junior Addison Boschult and sophomore Brandis Heffner finished first and second on both the 1- and 3-meter boards, and while they may not have been in top form, they certainly performed that way.

“It was pretty early in the season, and I don’t know if we were completely 100 percent ready for it, but we just got into the mentality that we were 100 percent ready for it and used that to dive our best,” Heffner said. “Just because you can physically do something doesn’t mean you can mentally do something.”

Boschult’s score of 310.95 on the 1-meter board would have been good for 15th at the Big Ten championships last season. Heffner would have been 16th with his score, 303.15. Both marks would have made the conference finals.

The pair was even better on the 3-meter board, Boschult’s score, 351.90, would have been 14th at the Big Ten championships.

“I know Michigan is a good team in the diving well and in the pool, so it was good to go one-two against them,” Heffner said.

At Michigan State, the pair flipped positions in the standings and finished second and third on the boards. Although the scores were lower, head diving coach Todd Waikel is optimistic about the duo, and the diving team as a whole, going forward.

However, Waikel said his divers should have won against Michigan State. Heffner was second on both boards and was within a point of first place on the 3 meter.

“I was very pleased with their performance,” he said. “But I would have liked to see us win.”

A big part of the success early on has been the training some of his divers have done over the summer, he said.

Boschult, Heffner, and other divers trained in Iowa City with Waikel over the summer, which not only allowed the divers to compete in zone competition but gave Boschult and  sophomore Lydia Lehnert a chance to compete at nationals.

“It’s definitely a different world in a senior competition,” Boschult said. He said that experience will be valuable and help the team as it prepares for the rest of the season.

Boschult said the divers who trained in Hawkeye land made significant progress over the summer.

“They are clicking really well,” Waikel said about the divers. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I feel pleased with where they are at. It gives us a lot of confidence; we’ve got some tough competition ahead of us all year.”

That competition includes the likes of Minnesota junior Manny Pollard and his teammate, sophomore Matt Barnard, who were sixth and 14th at the Big Ten championships last season.

With a strong start under their belts, the ceiling is high for the Hawkeyes, and Waikel is very excited about the team and Heffner’s and Boschult’s starts.

“It’s good for the whole rest of the team,” Waikel said. “Things are coming together; when that starts happening, it can be infectious.”


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