Athlete in the News
Diving Sensation Katie Laverty
By Melanie Cane
For the second year in a row, Katie Laverty won the 14-17 Diving title at the Westchester County Swimming Association Championships. She doubled the pleasure by breaking the record with a score of 241.20.
This was Laverty’s eighth and final appearance at “Counties” as she turns 18 before the 2020 competition. “It’s bittersweet that my summer diving career is over, but I’m happy with my accomplishments,” said the rising Rye High School senior.
Laverty started swimming recreationally at Rye Golf Club when she was 4, and by age 7 was drawn to diving and has never looked back… except when she does back dives and her favorite dive, the Back 1½ with 2½ twists off the 3m board.
Diving comes naturally to Laverty, whose mother dove in college. She began competing with the Marlins, the RGC Swimming/Diving team, and the Rye Y team. When she placed tenth in a national competition at age 10, she knew diving was going to be an important part of her life.
Since then, Laverty joined the USA Diving team at Whirlwind Diving in New Canaan, where she practices six days a week and sometimes does double practices. “I love the feeling of being weightless in the air, the rhythm of the board, and the feeling of hitting the water just right, as well as the camaraderie of my teammates.
Laverty added, “Diving has taken me places and given me experiences I would not have had otherwise. I have travelled all over the country for competitions and made many lifelong friends.
“Diving has taught me to try new things, overcome my fears, and time management.” Those time management skills have enabled her to maintain a 98.2 average at Rye High and induction into the National Honor Society.
This summer and last Laverty spent a week building houses in New Orleans with a group from her church. In any spare hours, which are few as she practices three to six hours a day, she volunteers her time giving swimming lessons.
“The hardest thing is to find time for a social life, but I do try to hang out with my non-diving friends,” she explained.
Laverty will be one of the three senior captains on the RHS Swimming/Diving team this season. She’s in the midst of the college recruiting process and is confident she’ll make a Division 1 team after high school. Beyond that, she has the 2024 Olympic Trials in her sights.
Katie Laverty with her gold medal from Counties