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Hawk, coach dive into success

BY OLIVIA STEPHENS | JUNE 29, 2015 5:00 AM

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From the moment now-senior diver Addison Boschult set foot on the Iowa campus, he has been continually challenged and motivated by diving coach Todd Waikel.

“Todd’s really helped me focus mentally and perform at a really high level,” Boschult said. “He’s really demanding on trusting your training and working hard.”

On his first day of practice, in 2012, Waikel instructed Boschult to go to the 5-meter platform and, simply, dive. Boschult complied and when he got out of the water, Waikel said he would from then on be a platform diver.

The chemistry between the two has led Boschult to become a big success in the Big Ten — America’s most competitive diving conference. Last season, Boschult won 10th place at the NCAA Championships, and he holds the school record on the platform.

In Boschult’s freshman year, he was the only male diver on the team. Because of that, he received more individual training from his coach, which he says helped him trust Waikel.

Waikel’s faith in Boschult motivated him to learn a full 10-meter platform list during his freshman year — and platform diving is now the diver’s best event.

After three years together, Boschult and Waikel have grown to become a team to reckon with in the world of college diving.

“He really went from being the bottom of the pack at the Big Tens to one of the top divers in the country,” Waikel said. “It’s been a remarkable journey.”

Now, Boschult and Waikel are training in order to solidify not only making nationals again next season but to place higher than last season.

Before coming to Iowa, Waikel coached as an assistant at Indiana. His decision to coach at Iowa came from the opportunity he saw from becoming a head coach as well as the relatively new facilities at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

Waikel has been impressed from the first day with the hard work and passion Boschult brings to the sport. He believes Boschult had improved dramatically from when they met, and he will only continue to progress.

In the 2013-2014 season, Waikel sent seven Iowa divers to the NCAA Zone-D Diving Championships, and he believes the team can achieve more in the coming seasons.

“Every year since Todd has came here [2013-14], we have become even better and achieved more of his goals,” Boschult said.

Now-sophomore diver Matt Mauser believes Waikel has not only helped him improve on his diving but renewed a sense of enjoyment in the sport.

“I think before, it felt more like a chore or something I had to do every day,” Mauser said. “Now, I am more excited about being there and learning new things. He’s made me more enthusiastic about the sport.”

Boschult and Waikel are deep in training for Boschult’s senior year in hopes of improving his score at nationals and performing well at the Olympic trials next summer.

“He just missed [making finals] last season, and that and the Olympics have been a big goal of his,” Waikel said. “But this year, I think those goals will be a successful ones.”


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