Competition drives success in diving

By Abby Sunu
In-Depth Editor
The last names that stand beside the unbeatable scores listed on the boy’s swimming and diving record board are on display for the whole school to see. The sense of accomplishment and recognition behind those names and scores is something many swimmer and divers strive for in hopes that their performance will set a long lasting record.
With a determined mindset like this, the 6 dive record (217.10) was broken at the Knight’s first meet of the season, which was Dec. 5 against Fremd by senior Stephen Schmit with a dive of 223.
However, Schmit knew his friendly competition, sophomore Anthony Liva, was close to breaking this record too and ended up scoring a 226.21 two weeks later at their meet against Maine South.
“I was really excited about finally taking that record down, but I knew Anthony was right on my heels so it wasn’t shocking when he set up a new one” Schmit said.
“[Stephen and I] both knew we were going to break the record,” Liva said. “But we just didn’t know who would end up with the higher scores.”
This back and forth record was then broken for the third time this season by Liva at the Schaumburg meet on January 9. This accomplishment so far has been a big success for Liva because his sister senior Dana Liva won the IHSA state champion for diving earlier this year.
“It’s pretty exciting [to set a record].” Liva said. “It’d be nice to have Liva next to my sister’s name on record board.”
Even though Liva set the record high for the 6 Dive, Schmit was not discouraged because he set a whole new record for the 11 Dive (369) as he scored 382 at the meet against New Trier.
“It felt exhilarating [to break the 11 Dive record].” Schmidt said. “I worked hard over the summer and during the fall, and it’s finally paying off. It’s shown through in my diving as well as Anthony’s because he’s been working hard too.”
Ultimately, Liva and Schmit’s main focus is on learning and perfecting new dives and doing the best they can at sectionals in hopes of progressing to state. With only four meets and three invites left until conference, Liva and Schmit still have time to use their friendly competition to break and set new records all while challenging and motivating each other for the title.
“I’m mostly just happy that Prospect has developed into a strong diving program,” Schmit said. “And the competition between me and Anthony is purely friendly.”