Junior Kristin Rayhack has accomplished more in the past two seasons than most divers do in their entire college careers. During her freshman and sophomore years, she won the 3-meter dive competition at the 2004 Ivy League Swimming and Diving championships, the 2004 Ivy League Diver of the Year award, and is a two-time Cornell diving MVP.
Although she could relax and enjoy the glory from her accomplishments thus far, her choice is to work harder, build on her skills, and defend her title as the best diver in the Ivy League.
“This season, I hope to improve my dual meet performances, defend my title as Ivy League champion, and place top 10 at NCAA zones,” she said.
Of course, the Ivy League has its share of strong competitors. According to Rayhack, some of the toughest she will face this season are from Harvard and Princeton, and she has yet to see what talent the incoming freshmen have brought to their teams.
The Red is currently ranked eighth in the Ivy League. However, Rayhack considers diving to be a very individual sport in which perfection is achieved through dedication and mental toughness. This season, she will venture to personally improve while contributing to the overall goals of the team.
“I love that our team has an undying dedication to our respective sports,” she said. “We don’t always come out as champions as a team or individually, but each of my teammates is still at practice every day striving for personal bests, which is what athletics is all about.”
The team will have a chance to move up in the Ivy League rankings soon, as the season is just beginning. Some of the biggest events coming up are the NCAA zones, the American Cup, and Senior Geographic zones. On an individual basis, diving well at both of the Zone qualifying meets would grant Rayhack a chance to compete in the NCAA championships and the National Championships.
At this point in the season, former Olympic coach Rick Gilbert has Rayhack working mainly on fundamentals and improving her current dive list. Later on in the season, she will strive to expand her diving repertoire with increasingly difficult jumps, somersaults and tucks.
Unsatisfied with anything but than the best, Rayhack will also spend time working on consistency and precision in her dives.
The dive that she cites as the one she has the most trouble with right now is the inward two-and-a-half dive off of the three-meter board.
But with credentials such as hers, Ivy League divers can bet that Rayhack’s dives will be up to par when its time to square off against the Red.
Archived article by Kristen Schneider
Sun Staff Writer