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Solo diver makes a strong splash

Senior Shane Brinson shares his experience as the team’s only diver and his journey to tremendous success at NAIA nationals.   |  Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

 

In an unexpected change of pace, senior Shane Brinson traded his running shoes last year to spring off a diving board.

It’s a family

Brinson grew up diving, but his high school did not offer a diving team, so he joined Biola’s cross country team as a freshman. He was training for a triathlon and finished his swim with a flip-and-a-half off the school’s board when swim coach Eddie Shepard saw him and asked him to join the team. From then on, Brinson trained hard and has since experienced a high level of success.

Brinson said this turn of events has been a great experience and has enjoyed his two years diving for the team.

“It was unbelievable,” Brinson said. “But it was great because I got to meet an awesome bunch of people.”

Even as the the team’s only diver, Brinson does not feel pressured at meets and seeks to do the best he can. He does not swim with the rest of the team, but trains at a club off-campus under the guidance of his head diving coach Lisa Treguboff.

“It’s lonely, but I’m not truly alone because I have the swim team,” Brinson said. “It’s a family and I don’t feel left out.”

staying completely focused

Judges at meets look for the smallest splash, straight up-and-down entry into the water and good takeoff. Brinson spends around 10 hours each week taking all these elements into account and refining his technique. He progresses into harder dives throughout his sessions and practices dryland technique on a trampoline when not diving off the board.

“It’s very mental. To be on that board and stay completely focused is something a lot of people don’t understand, “ Brinson said.  “It’s crazy because one little thing can throw you off, one little drop of water can run down your face — every second has to be thinking about the dive.”

Brinson said he can sometimes be self-critical, but tries to stay positive and relaxed in order to have the best dive possible.

“You almost have to turn your mind off a bit and just have to go for it — you absolutely have to stay relaxed,” Brinson said.

He competed at nationals last year, but nerves overcame him and he shook while standing on the board. He worked on overcoming his fear this year and staying relaxed with a positive mindset.

supporting each other

Brinson sought to do his best at nationals and was surprised when he earned two national titles in the 3-meter and 1-meter dives. He also received the NAIA National Diver of the Year award after winning these two events. Brinson felt his success at nationals unbelieveable and was encouraged seeing his progress over the course of the season.

“It was definitely the people, my friends,” Brinson said. “Just supporting each other and encouraging each other to do our best for Biola for the Lord — it was an outstanding time.”

Brinson attributes all the credit for his success to God and said knowing God loves him despite his achievements helped him remain positive and confident throughout the season, especially at nationals.

“Coming into the last dive of each board, just knowing ‘Okay, just do my best and do my best for the Lord.’ It gave me more confidence and it came through,” Brinson said.

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