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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Senior diver competes at CCS, ends season unsure of future of the team

Riley Alves
Senior Riley Alves executes a reverse straight dive during a meet at Los Altos on March 14.

The school’s diving team this year consisted of two divers: seniors Tashi Vasudeva and Riley Alves. 

Alves competed at CCS on April 30 at Palo Alto against schools including Gunn, Saint Francis, Menlo Atherton, Prospect, Palo Alto and Los Altos. She placed 27th out of 45 athletes, performing a one and a half forward pike, a double forward tuck, half an inward pike, one inward tuck and one back straight. 

Because the SHS pool isn’t deep enough for diving, the two trained at Los Gatos’s diving facilities with the Los Gatos divers and coaches for two hours a day. 

“I started diving during COVID, because I thought it was a good way to exercise while being outside,” Alves said. “I chose diving over swimming because I mainly enjoy more exhilarating sports.”

During practices, athletes started outside of the pool and worked on drills to practice the motions of the tricks and stretch to warm up. They then took turns on the diving board to practice the dives they were preparing to execute in competitions. 

There are five types of dives that athletes can complete: forwards, backwards, reverses, inwards and twists. In competitions, each athlete performs six dives, receiving scores for each from three judges on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. 

The three scores are added and the sum is then multiplied by the degree of difficulty (DD). Each trick is graded based on its degree of difficulty, and most high school dives generally get scored as a DD of 1.8 or 1.9. 

“Diving can be hard to prepare for because, unfortunately, there’s not really any way of preparing for a new dive; you kind of just have to commit to it,” Alves said. “It’s a lot of watching other people, making attempts and then getting feedback afterwards. There’s a lot of flops.” 

Both Alves and Vasudeva are seniors, and with no incoming divers from the grades below them, Alves is unsure of what will happen to the swim team’s diving component in the future. 

“Our team is pretty small, but even still, I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “Training with Los Gatos is a new experience and the environment — being able to bond with another team that would normally be your opposition — is really nice.”

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