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Boschult conquers the tower

BY IAN MURPHY | MARCH 03, 2015 5:00 AM

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As the height of the board or the platform increased, so did the expectations for the Hawkeye divers.

Well-known to head diving coach Todd Waikel, the Hawkeyes had their best chance of sending someone to the Big Ten championship finals in tower diving.

With that knowledge, Waikel had high expectations for his best diver, junior Addison Boschult. Boschult, the school record holder in tower diving, met those expectations and then some.

“The important takeaway was to have him in this final,” Waikel said. “Not only was it at our home pool, but just to be in that caliber of field was great for him.

Qualifying fourth for the final with a school record 394.55, Boschult finished sixth with a score of 387.20, repeating as the only diver under Waikel to make a conference championship final.

“I was really happy to be in the finals with all those amazing competitors,” Boschult said.

The field included Australian Olympian James Connor of Indiana and 10-meter national champion Steele Johnson of Purdue.

For Waikel, however, to send a diver to the finals means much more, especially because Boschult was the only athlete in the diving program when Waikel took over in 2012. Waikel’s goal was to build the program into a Big Ten contender, and it appears that is well on the way.

“To see him up there and to see him perform, I was very proud of him,” Waikel said. “I couldn’t ask for more.”

Boschult’s championship final on the tower was not the only positive for the Iowa team over the long weekend.

Boschult competed in the consolation finals of the 3-meter board, and freshman Matt Mauser dived in the consolation finals of the platforms on Feb. 28.

For Mauser, who rarely dived from a tower in high school, and when he did, it was only a 5-meter tower, to get to dive for a second time was an unexpected event.

“I didn’t have much expectation coming in,” Mauser said. “Just get out here and dive … Like [Waikel] said, we’re just scratching the surface.”

Boschult, too, had never dived from a platform before coming to Iowa. On Boschult’s first day of practice, Waikel sent the then-freshman to the top of the platforms.

“First day of practice, Todd told me he thought I’d be good on the tower because I was a gymnast, and I’ve taken to it pretty naturally,” Boschult said.

Overall, Waikel said the weekend, especially from the towers, was a big step forward for the young program and for Boschult.

“To go up to tower, 33 feet high, and start not only doing dives, but doing dives that world-class athletes are doing, that says a lot about him.”

Follow @IanFromIowa on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s swimming and diving team.


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