Diving Into Freshman Year
By Kate Clemenz
Freshmen on high school sports teams are often overlooked. The athletes on the team with a lot of experience do not usually expect their new team members to excel and, as a result, freshmen athletes are usually not paid much attention. However, every once in a while there is a freshman who comes along and breaks the norm. Women’s Swimming and Diving Sequoia Alonso, Adv. 209, did just that.
During Alonso's first meet at Northside on Friday, Sept. 7, Alonso broke the previous school record of 271 with her score of 277 for her six dives. At the second meet on Sept. 11, she broke her own school record once again with a score of 283. When asked how she was feeling before her dives, she said “I just try to have fun with it.”
Alonso said she was not expecting to do very well, but said that her teammates were all cheering for her when they found out she had broken the record. “Everyone on the swim and dive team is super nice,” said Alonso, “and I love doing the season with them. They’ve helped me a lot because I’m not used to being in a team environment, and they’ve made it easier.” Alonso emphasized the impact the team has had on her experience and said how thankful she was for their excitement and support.
Alonso also said how impressed she is by her teammates. She said that she is able to do so well at meets because she dives year-round, but most of her teammates are only able to dive for three or so months out of the year. She said “the fact that they are all doing well with only three months of training is super inspiring.” Alonso emphasized how much she admires her team for their both their kindness and their talent at this sport.
Alonso’s experience is not limited to her Northside training. She also dives for the club team at Northwestern University. She said that the way she got into diving was “kind of a funny story, actually. My head coach saw me during swim lessons, and told me that I should be a diver.” She explained that she was a gymnast, and the exercise she had done and the flexibility she had gained from doing gymnastics really helped with her dives. Alonso has been diving for three years now, and is excited to continue. She is still considering the possibility of diving in college, and said that it would be exciting to earn a scholarship for doing a sport she invests so much time in.
“High school diving is a lot different than club,” Alonso said. She said that it is “totally silent during high school meets, but during club diving meets everyone is screaming and cheering- it’s weird!” Alosno said that there is a built-in support system with the high school swim and dive team. At club swim meets, she said “it’s just me and my mom.” Alonso is excited to continue on both Northside’s diving team and Northwestern University’s club diving team.
Looking into the future, Alonso has a few goals for herself, her biggest one being to win state one year. When asked if she had any advice for aspiring divers, Alonso highlighted how cool the sport is. She said that you “don’t need to be super talented- you just need to put yourself out there and try something new.” She said that everyone on the team is super supportive, and that their coach is very nice. Alonso wants her team to know how thankful she is- she said “Thanks to the whole team for making me feel welcome. I’ve never been in a team-oriented environment before. No one in the diving community has ever been so nice to me, but this team is.” Alonso is excited to see what the future holds.