Diving With the Starz

Kristen Copple and lakecentralnews

This past summer, we watched intently as David Boudia and Tom Daley went neck-and-neck in the men’s diving 10-meter platform event, with Boudia bringing home the Gold. We saw Kelci Bryant and her synchro partner Abby Johnson take on the Chinese and earn Silver in the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard event after they were just .42 points away from not going to London.

People all around the nation watched their television sets as these amazing things were being done by America’s athletes in the 2012 Olympics and thought back to greatness that emerged from their own community.

Though not many people know it, Lake Central has a club diving team, Starz, that trains divers to learn and compete with dives from 3-meter diving boards and the platform-the same events you see in the Olympics.

Starz diving club is one of 18 Starz club satellites diffused around Indiana. The satellite came to Lake Central about two years ago and is run and coached by Thomas Slivka, who also coaches the high school diving team.

The team consists of the eight Lake Central divers from the high school team plus divers of varying ages from Munster, Crown Point, Valparaiso and Kankakee Valley.

Since there is no platform or 3-meter springboard at Lake Central, Starz divers travel down to Indianapolis to use the natatorium at IUPUI about once a month.

“The thing I like about platform diving is that there’s no room for error. If I land on my back or stomach, it will hurt a lot, so you have to do good. Plus I like the feeling of free falling,” varsity diver Christopher Rath (11) said.

Since the Starz program began, it has produced 11 divers that competed in the Olympic Trials, two of them qualifying for the Olympic Games (David Boudia and Thomas Finchum).

Starz divers from Lake Central believe the program would have more athletes if more people knew about it.

“Very little people know there’s a club at Lake Central for platform diving. It’s such a cool sport and I bet there’s a lot of people out there that would be willing to try,” varsity diver Ryan Bertossi (10) said.

Those interested should contact coach Thomas Slivka at [email protected]