|Club||Mike Darland||High Dive Champions||Purchase||-|
|High School||Kevin Grayson|
|Years diving||USA Diving||AAU|
Fox Lane Varsity athlete for 5 Years;
NYSPHSAA-Boys Championship Meet - 17th place in 2020 & 25th place in 2019
New York State Gymnastics gold medalist - 2015, level 5, age 11, all-around champion;
2017, level 7, age 13, horizontal bar champion
Last year competing in the state diving championships, I didn’t know if I was good enough to compete at the collegiate level. This year I left competitive gymnastics behind to focus 100% on diving. I put in the extra hours, got more coaching, and made the New York State Meet final round, placing 17th as a junior. My coaches have helped me to learn that I am capable of realizing my potential through hard work and dedication. Looking back, I’ve been part of some really great teams that have helped me grow as both a person and an athlete. Contributing to the team, one with a strong sense of community, will enable me to succeed in college both academically and personally.
My town has a summer swim and dive team program where we compete against neighboring towns. That’s where I learned how to dive. In 2018, I completed a lifeguarding certification program and was hired by the town pool. Being a lifeguard is a leadership role because I am in charge of keeping people safe both in and out of the water. Also in 2018, I was asked to take over the summer dive program. One of my divers joined the high school team as a 7th grader; this year, as an 8th grader, he qualified for the sectional meet and competed in the final round. In 2020, I’m looking forward to my third year as both the dive coach and a lifeguard lieutenant.
To me, healthy athletic performance as a student-athlete comes from nutrition, having good friends, and keeping up with schoolwork. My parents make sure that our family eats a well-balanced diet of mainly organic food. I’m fortunate to have friends from elementary school, sports teams, and my church. Last year, I took honors courses in chemistry and math, and this year I am taking AP courses in chemistry and history. My success as a student-athlete has come through making sure my body and mind are well nourished by clean food and strong relationships.
For about the last 9 years my parents have been active in community garden projects. I have participated by weeding, watering, hauling dirt and whatever else it took to help the garden grow. The produce has been used to feed members of our community who don’t have access to fresh, local, organic food. Over the last two years, I have participated in the “Midnight Run” program through my church, which provides food, clothing, and emotional support to the homeless of New York City. Traveling at night into New York City, I have served hot soup and distributed clothing and other items face to face with homeless people. Both the garden projects and the Midnight Run have enabled me to make a difference in the lives of people both in my local community and more broadly. Making a difference in these small ways inspires me to think of solutions to the problem of food insecurity.
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