Kayleigh Theroux stands on the steps of the diving board, looking up at the huge crowd waiting to see her first dive. Her heart beats, as she slowly walks up the steps onto the beginning of the board. Thinking about how this is NVLs, she needs to do well, she needs to get a good score, she needs to help her team win. Theroux adjusts the fulcrum with her foot to begin her dive. She walks backwards to where she started on the board and follows through with her approach. She starts her take-off to front dive. She performs her dive with precision and breaks the surface of the water; as she comes up to the surface, crowd cheering, she glances at the judges… 8.5.
On November 14th at Watertown High School, Kayleigh Theroux took home the win for diving at NVLs. She competed against Watertown, St. Paul, Torrington and a few more teams in the NVL; however, her biggest competition was Jill Nugia from Watertown. Throughout Nugia’s season, she became very close with Theroux’s skills and dives. She had similar dives creating a major competition.
Theroux’s dives helped the Woodland Girls Swim and Dive Team take the NVL Championship. Without her, this wouldn’t have been possible considering they won by a slim two points.
Theroux feels like she really helped her team and she saw a future for herself, “I felt super happy because I knew it would help the swim team a lot,” said Theroux, “and I also felt super accomplished.”
Kayleigh Theroux chose diving because it was a “fun alternative” to gymnastics which she used to do. Gymnastics helped her with control over her dives and with her form.
“Gymnastics helped with my form [in diving],” said Theroux. She also had some issues mixing gymnastics with her diving.
“Diving gave me a huge set back on my twisting dives because when you dive, you have to twist a different way than when you do in gymnastics,” Theroux said.
The diving team has had some changes after their last season.
“The difference between this year and last year is that there was a change of coaches. This year I really bonded with my coaches which made diving a lot more enjoyable,” Theroux said.
Her motivation throughout the season was her mindset to win NVLs. She says she has learned many more dives that she was afraid to do last season. Theroux was able to learn new skills because of the way she pushes herself.
“To push myself I do the dives until my coach says they were good enough. In the dives when I have a mental block, I set an amount I have to complete throughout the practice,” Theroux explains.
The average score most divers get is about 5/10. The total score a diver receives depends on how difficult the dive is and their technique. Theroux’s best score she has received was a 9.5/10, which is almost perfect. Her total score she got at NVLs was a 353.45. To get ready for her dives before she gets on the board she says,
“Before each dive I would go through the motions of the dive in my head and think about every correction and tip the coaches give to me.”
Theroux sees herself diving at college in the future, but for now she is set on winning NVLs, setting high standards for next season, and will strive for diving to look great on a college resume. She wishes to continue her sport of diving at Fordham University. She says she looks forward to doing both one meter and three meter diving there. Overall, Kayleigh Theroux has really started focusing on her future and has made diving a priority in her life.
Below: Slow motion video of one of Theroux’s dives.