By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
VISALIA – While Jake Norman dove perfectly to become a standout diver for College of the Sequoia during his first year, he one-upped himself this year. At the Central Valley Conference (CVC) Championships, he took first in the three-meter dive.
“It was a fun experience and I really enjoyed the diving community,” Norman said. “Even though it was really competitive it was still a fun time.”
As in every year, the conference championships bring out the best in the divers. This year, however, it was on a whole different level when it came down to which diver could get as close to perfect as possible. Norman’s experience gave him an edge.
In every competition, a diver has to hit a certain dive in five different categories. If a diver does not hit the mark, they are disqualified. Norman realized the front and inward turn categories were the ones he was strongest in. He decided to try and hit harder dives when these two categories came up. Then when he had to compete in the others, he attempted simple dives just to acquire points. During the inward category, Norman attempted a two and a half tuck. He performed the dive to near perfection, and went on to win.
“It was a newer [dive for me], but the fact it was so difficult meant if I capitalized, it would really put me in the lead,” Norman said.
That wasn’t the only medal Norman won at the championships. He went on to defend his second place title in the one-meter height.
Once again both finishes sent Norman back to the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) State Championships. In the three-meter he once again medaled finishing in eighth place. In the one meter dive he took tenth place overall.
Norman’s performances at the conference and state championships earned him some special recognitions as well. The CVC named him Diver of the Year. His results at state gave him All-American status.
Learning how to spin in the air is not the only thing Norman learned while competing in diving. He learned that sports can be both challenging and fun. All he saw during his early days of playing contact sports was the competitive side. Competing as a diver and before that in swimming allowed him down time to actually get to know his competitors.
All signs pointed to Norman moving on to compete at the four year level after completion of his sophomore year. Now the time has come and passed the door has almost shut on him continuing to compete. As of right now he is keeping his options open and leaning toward focusing on getting his art degree. He has not decided which school he’ll attend next fall. Schools such as Long Beach State, Fresno Pacific, and Fullerton are among his top choices.