John-Michael Diveris has made quite the metaphorical splash thus far in his final season with Penn swimming. Meanwhile, the senior's dives have done the opposite.
Diveris, who has competed in the Ivy League Championship the past two seasons, has been consistently placing in the one-meter and three-meter dives. In fact, he has won the 3m dive in each of Penn’s four meets this season. Just before Thanksgiving, he scored a career–high score of 345.2 points in the 3m event.
True to his character, Diveris has been very humble about his success this season and his goals going forward.
“I’ve been incredibly blessed with everything that God has given me — it is hard to ask for more. Some of my loftier goals would be to qualify for NCAAs and maybe compete at the US Olympic trials for synchronized diving on the 3m this upcoming June. But, I am mainly just excited to ride out my last season besides the incredible athletes and coaches on our team.”
Diveris said that he has a few more tricks up his sleeves for his final collegiate season, including a front 3.5 somersault tuck on the 1m.
Like many divers, Diveris was introduced to the sport after a long stint in gymnastics came to an end due to an injury. But he recalls having a passion and fascination for diving at a young age.
“While watching the 2000 Olympic diving competition, I stood on the arm of our crocodile-green couch and performed a front somersault tuck. My parents immediately enrolled me in gymnastics, where I trained and competed for 12 years. After a career-ending injury, I revisited my original idea and began diving freshman year of high school. It was a great stroke of luck to have a great diving coach who made collegiate diving possible for me,” Diveris said.
He is extremely appreciative of the Quakers' diving coach Rob Cragg, who competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic games and is perhaps the greatest diver in Penn’s history.
“I’d like to thank our Olympic coach Rob for the time and effort he dedicates to our team. Not only does he head the diving program at Penn, but he also works full time for Oracle during the day. His passion for the sport and team is unmatched and we are very lucky to have him as our coach,” Diveris said.
Diveris credits his standout year of diving to listening to Shaun White’s Skate Playlist on Spotify before meets.
“Shaun, if you’re reading this, please consider adding “The Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh – been a real game–changer this season.”
Diveris will be competing this weekend at the Miami (Ohio) Invitational.