NVSL Dive News & Information
NVSL Dive By The NumbersThu, 12-8-2016 | Kate Walter
2016 NVSL Dive By the Numbers
Jim Sweeder's annual review of NVSL Diving is now available in the documents center. This document provides valuable insights on the 2016 season and historical trends affecting NVSL Diving. Enjoy!
2016 NVSL Scholarship RecipientsWed, 12-7-2016 | Kate Walter
Sandy Kendall - MacDuff Scholarship
Sandy has been a member of the Homes Run Acres swim team for the past 13 years. She has been to All Star meets on several occasions and has been selected as her team’s MVP multiple times. Sandy is a recent graduate of the Falls Church HS where she was involved in numerous extracurricular activities. As a member of her Varsity Cross Country Team, swim, soccer, and indoor/outdoor track and field HS teams she was selected as a captain for her swim team and an all conference and state athlete in a number o fother sports. Sandy attended the ALA Virginia Girls States, a mock government program, where she was elected to the House of Delegates. In addition, she served as a junior coach, lifeguard, camp counselor, and participated in numerous HS clubs (robotics and technology). Sandy will be attending Duke University in the fall.
Kristen Chase - Presidents' Scholarship
Kirsten is a 13 year member of the of the Burke Station Swim team. She has been the female high point scorer for her team and holds several pool records. Kirsten has served as both an assistant coach and an off season conditioning coach for the Burke Swim team. She is highly regarded by coaches and parents alike as a leader and a role model. Kirsten attended Lake Braddock Secondary School where she was a member of the swim and outdoor track and field teams. As an accomplished vocalist, Allison held lead roles in school musical and theater productions as well as sung the National Anthem at many A/B meets. She was selected to participate in the Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program and West Point Leadership Conference representing her HS. Kirsten will be attending Elon University in the fall.
Maureen Duesterhaus - Spirit Scholarship
Maureen has been a member of the Greenbriar Swim team for the past 15 years. She is admired on her team for her spirit, leadership, and dedication to the sport and has received several awards through her pool and community . She has been involved in coaching with the team for the past four years as a developmental coach and the head coach for the winter program. Maureen developed and coordinated several fundraisers for worthwhile health foundations. Maureen attended Bishop O’Connell High School where she was a member of the swim team and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities including: National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and National Spanish Society to name a few. She peer tutored in Spanish and mathematics. Maureen will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall.
Ashley Weldon - Joan Olson Scholarship
Ashley has been a member of the Fairfax Station Swim team for the past 13 years. She has earned several team and coaches awards and attended several relay and individual All Star meets. She served as the Head Mini Team Coach for her team. Ashley created and coordinated several biathlon fundraisers at her pool in supportof several worthy foundations. Ashley attended Robinson Secondary School where she swam for the swim team for four years, qualifying for district finals in two of these years. She was a member of National English Honor Society, National Honor Society, and a member of the school’s literary magazine as well as the school’s Chamber Orchestra. Ashley worked as a lifeguard and assistant managerofher pool and as a religious aide at her church. Ashley will be attending University of Virginia in the fall.
Help us celebrate our graduating seniors!Mon, 8-1-2016 | Kate Walter
Graduating Senior Bios
Joe Amato/Wakefield Chapel: Joe graduated from Woodson High School this June as an honors graduate and governors early college scholar candidate. He started diving at the age of 7 for Lakeview and a couple of years later started diving for his neighborhood pool, Rutherford. His favorite coaches were his sisters, Lisa and Sara, who still come to watch him dive at all of his meets. Joe joined the Wakefield Chapel dive team in 2015 to dive, coach, and help teach the younger divers to excel in their sport. During the winter of 2015-2016 school year, Joe participated on the Woodson dive team. Year round, he dives for the Mason Dive Academy. This fall, Joe will be attending George Mason University where he plans to study engineering, go pre-law and also compete for their dive team. Joe will miss diving for Wakefield Chapel and the NVSL; he will no longer be able to do his favorite dive at Mason - the front jump.
Ally Bell/Woodley: Ally has been with the Woodley Warriors since she was a rising freshman at Falls Church High School. She was on the dive team there as well for three years. She has been a role model and an inspiration to the younger members of the team and has helped our coaching staff many times. She will be attending Bridgewater College in the fall to study athletic training. Ally will be greatly missed next year, best of luck in the future.
Alec Biles/Vienna Woods: Alec has been a member of the Vienna Woods swim/dive program since age six. Alec won his age group high point trophy twice. Alec really enjoyed his time on the VW dive team even though we have not seen much of him recently. He has especially enjoyed the post meet ice cream socials and avoiding practice! Alec will attend Mary Washington University in the fall on an academic scholarship where he will run Cross Country and track. Alec would like to thank Coach Alison and coach Ryan for making diving fun!
Calle Biles/Vienna Woods: Calle graduated from Madison HS. She has been a member of the Vienna Woods swim/dive team since 2014. She has been a dive coach for the last 2 years. She won the Vienna Woods’ Christian Schopp Award and was an All Star qualifier. She will attend VMI to study biology and rhetoric as well as participate Navy ROTC and swim and dive on a swimming scholarship. Calle has loved being a member of the VW swim and dive programs. Calle thanks Coach Alison and Coach Ryan and all the others for always making swim and dive fun!
Maya Brubaker/Kent Gardens: Maya has been diving for 6 years at KGRC where she began as a diver, then a volunteer coach, an assistant coach, and is now a senior coach. She has also been on the McLean High School dive and gymnastics teams for the past 4 years of high school. She won awards such at the most improved athlete award as well as the scholar athlete award and the Angus Award for accumulating 8 varsity letters throughout high school. She has spent the last four years participating in various community service efforts such as volunteering at an animal rehabilitation center in Jordan. She also interned for the National Tour Association in Beijing, China. She plans to major in health sciences on the premed track at James Madison University.
Grayson Campbell/Vienna Woods: Grayson has been diving for 11 seasons with Vienna Woods. In his time on the Vienna Woods dive team he found his love and passion for the sport. At a young age Grayson was not the most skillful or competitive diver on the team, but his persistence soon changed that. With the help of his first coach Billy Hughes, Grayson won the freshman boys event at All Stars at the age of 9. The following summer Grayson took his diving further and won his first Junior National diving title. Since then Grayson has won 11 Junior National Diving titles, 3 VHSL State Championships, 5 NVSL All Star Championships, and 3 Wally Martin 3 meter championships. Grayson was named the All American National Champion in 2014 and 2016. Grayson attributes his love and success in the sport of diving to Vienna Woods, the NVSL, his coaches at Dominion Dive Club, and his family. Grayson will continue his diving career at The University of Texas in the fall.
Rebecca Deitch/Chesterbrook: Becca Deitch recently graduated from McLean High School, where she participated in two Varsity sports, music programs, and several tutoring organizations. She has been diving for Chesterbrook Swim and Tennis Club for eight years, and has spent the last three years as an assistant coach. She has thoroughly enjoyed her time with the team and will cherish the memories of her coaches and teammates, especially that of her younger brother, Michael. Becca will be attending the College of William and Mary in the fall, where she intends to major in biology or chemistry on a pre-med track. She looks forward to coming back to Chesterbrook to see all the amazing things her team will accomplish in the future!
Elise Dirkse/Dunn Loring: Elise has been a member of the Dunn Loring dive team for the past 8 years and has enjoyed every minute with her Dolphin family. Throughout her high school career at Marshal,l Elise has played four different Varsity sports, but would like to thank all of her dive coaches for making this truly the most fun team to be a part of. In the fall, Elise will be heading down to Blacksburg to study engineering at Virginia Tech, go Hokies!
Bennett Fagan/ Pinecrest: Pinecrest’s assistant dive coach this year, Bennett is graduating from Oakton High School and completing his 10th year of diving competitively on the local and national circuit. Bennett’s high school diving achievements including Oakton’s dual meet record with 303 points for 6 dives: team captain this year and last, when they were the state champions; team MVP; Concorde District Champion; All American and All State. Bennett also played football at Oakton, where he played varsity and captained the team in 2015. His other notable high school achievements include Make a Splash swim coach for special needs students, Scholar Athlete and Honor Roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar and Best Buddies Mentor for special needs students. Bennett will be heading to Massachusetts in the fall to attend Amherst College, where he will play Division 3 football.
Danielle Fairchild/Hamlet: Danielle joined the Hamlet Dive Team when she was seven years old. She has been on the team for 11 years. For three of those she has been an Assistant Coach. Danielle received The Coaches award in 2009 for her hard work and determination at diving. She has qualified and dove at NVSL All Stars many years and is one of the Hamlet’s top point scorers for the team. Danielle dove for the Langley Varsity Swim and Dive Team in high school and lettered all four years. Danielle’s favorite dive is the Inward 1 ½. Her fondest memory is playing Follow the Leader on Fun Wednesdays after meets. Danielle will be attending Christopher Newport University in the fall and plans to major in Physics.
Leila Fleischman/Stratford Recreation Association: Leila has been a member of the swimming and diving teams at SRA for many years. The last four years have been exclusively with the dive team. She was also on the West Potomac High School dive team and was team captain her senior year. She is an avid softball and volleyball player as well. Stratford Recreation Association has always been a big part of Leila’s life. Her first job was at SRA as a lifeguard and assistant dive coach. One thing that comes naturally to Leila is her amazing skills at managing children and young divers. The kids flock around her, sneak into the coaches’ chairs beside her, or find reasons to sit on her lap. She says the best memories working with Bryan, Brant, Colleen O’Hara, Marina, and Rachel, Jack, and the divers. Traveling to and from meets in a car with just the coaches was a unique feeling. When we arrived at the meet the youngest divers often needed to see us there so they could be calm and focus on their dives. She says when she goes to college she will miss being at the pool side with the dive team or lifeguarding. Leila will be attending VCU in the fall.
Delaney Gallagher/Tuckahoe: Delaney began diving for Tuckahoe 11 years ago. She placed 2nd in the Cracker Jack meet that year, and everything has been a drop in the pool since. Through all her coaches and all her dive mates, she’s enjoyed the camaraderie of the Tuckahoe Flying Tigers the most. The dive accomplishments she’s most proud of are winning last year’s NVSL’s All-Star meet, and placing 3rd in this year’s VHSL state dive meet, as a member of the McLean High School dive team. Delaney would like to especially like to thank Tuckahoe’s dive reps – and her Mom for all the support they’ve provided the past decade. Delaney will be diving for San Diego State University in the fall.
Evan Granrud/Orange Hunt: Evan is a second year head coach at Orange Hunt Swim Club. This is his first year as a member of the club as an Orange Hunt diver. Evan brought considerable competitive diving and coaching experience to Orange Hunt. He came to us from a Parliament Pool dive family, where he was a five-time NVSL all-star for Parliament, placing as high as sixth place in 2012. Evan graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School this past May and will be attending the University of South Carolina where he will be studying Bio-Medical Engineering. Evan is loved by all Orange Hunt divers, but most especially our freshman who look up to him with wonder and thank him for his positive attitude.
Emily Hay/Overlee: Emily’s relationship with the Overlee Dive Team began when she was 5 years old. Her wit and enthusiasm has always been matched by the magnetic effect that she has on those around her. Long ago, she became our cheerleader, our big sister, our baby sitter, and our best friend. Her ability to gather and ignite her team for competition made her a leader and a trusted coach. As a competitor, Emily was pure entertainment, either ripping a dive for “Ochos” as a Division Champion, or choosing to try new dives for the very first time…at a meet. Overlee Diving is Emily’s Team, because she literally helped to build it. She has been dedicated to the Spirit of Overlee Diving for over two thirds of her life. She embodies all of the very best things about summer diving.A Yorktown High School graduate, Emily has been an absolutely awesome student. She will attend Virginia Tech next year.
James Hughes/Old Keene Mill: James has been diving for Old Keene Mill for five years and attends Lake Braddock High School. He started his high school diving career as a freshman, and made it to regionals his senior year. An Eagle Scout, James will be attending NOVA in the fall.
Andrew Krysinsky/Hunt Valley: Andrew began his journey with the Hunt Valley Swim Team in 2004. For the past twelve years Andrew has loved being a part of Hunt Valley pool as well as the swim and dive team. He especially loved all the team spirited activities and bonding they’ve had every season with the Fun Mondays, playing manhunt, pep rallies, Nats Games, All Star Fairies, and most of all cheering on his Stingray team at every meet. Hunt Valley formed our dive team 4 seasons ago. In the second season Andrew made his way over to the Dive well to watch the divers practice and decided to give it a try. Andrew spent an entire day at the pool after leaving the morning swim practice then heading over to the dive well. Dive practice ended but he stayed to continue practicing what he had learned that day. Not long after that day Andrew became a member of the dive team. He immediately took to the board and was placing in the meets and scoring points for his team. He continued diving for his high school team as well and made it in to the conference meets his junior and senior years. He did all of this while also participating on a travel showcase baseball team in the summer time. Andrew would like to say thanks to all the coaches who have helped him in developing his skills to dive. Andrew came a long way in a very short few years thanks to this very supportive team. Andrew will be attending James Madison University in the fall.
Dori Lichter/Ilda: Dori Lichter has been diving with Ilda since she was about 6 years old. As a student at Woodson High School, she was active with the theater department. She recently earned her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. In the fall, she will attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where she will study theater. She will miss playing mat wars at Ilda and celebrating at Dairy Queen after our dive meets.
Zoe Lunn/Donaldson Run: Zoe is a recent graduate of HB Woodlawn and a rising freshman at the University of Virginia. She has been diving for 14 years. In addition to diving, she is an avid soccer player. She has spent the summer coaching, giving swim lessons and babysitting. In her free time, she enjoys traveling. In fact, she is missing Divisionals this year because she is backpacking with her sister in Europe!
Michelle Martin/Hamlet: Michelle has been a diver on the Hamlet Dive Team for 10 years and an Assistant Coach for 3. Michelle has competed at Divisionals and All Stars for the last 7 years and placed 3rd at Cracker Jack when she was 8 years old. Michelle received the Coaches Award in 2014 and the Graham Baker Award in 2009. Michelle’s favorite dive is "The New Wes" - a 5111 Front dive pike with a half-twist….named after one of our young coaches several years back. Michelle says her most meaningful experience on the team was being able to meet so many different people. She said “As I have watched divers and coaches join and leave the team over the many years, I have noticed that the spirit of the team and the love of diving has never left the Hamlet.” Michelle will be attending The College of William & Mary in the fall. Michelle wants to say thank you to her family for supporting her through the many years of diving and thanks to all of her coaches and friends for making diving such an amazing and positive experience. In Michelle’s words, “These are years that I will never forget.”
Gabe Martino/North Springfield: Gabe Martino grew up in North Springfield and has been swimming and diving for the Dolphins since he was 7 years old. He qualified three times for the NVSL Swimming All-Stars and twice for diving All-Stars. When he was 13 he qualified for both Swim and Dive All-Stars that summer. He credits the many great coaches over the years, especially Coach Sandy, who taught him how to swim fast and tried to get him to kick. Also Coaches Daniel and Jack who taught him how to hurdle high and never forced him to wear little Speedo suits. Summers for the Martino family revolved around the neighborhood pool. Gabe remembers many great characters and activities, including spirit cheers, fun day practices and mat wars, pancake Fridays, team banquets, and more. The North Springfield Swimming Club was Gabe’s first employer. He has worked at the front desk, as a lifeguard, and as a dive coach. Gabe is a 2016 graduate of Annandale High School. He plans to serve our country in the United States Marine Corps and will start training in Parris Island in January.
Samantha Niezgoda/Ilda: Samantha has been swimming and diving with Ilda for more than ten years. She attended Bishop O'Connell High School , was a member of the National Science Honor Society, volunteered with the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund in assisting swimmers with disabilities, and served as a peer mentor for students with disabilities. She will attend James Madison University, where she will study nutrition on the pre-med track. Sam loves the Ilda swim and dive teams and thanks everyone for the wonderful memories and friendships!
Maggie Pionzio /Mansion House: Maggie Pionzio started diving when she was 12 years old and has been diving for Mansion House for the last 6 years. She has been a coach at Mansion House for the last 3 years. Her NVSL accomplishments include Division I Champion, All Star Champion, and Wally Martin Champion. She is also a Virginia State Champion, two time All-American, as well as an Academic All-American. Next year Maggie will be diving at Dartmouth College.
Cleo Potter/Arlington Forest: Cleo Potter has been diving for the Arlington Forest Tigers since she was seven years old. She has loved her time on the team and is very sad this is her last year. Cleo is forever grateful to Bobby for all his coaching (summer and winter), for Fun Fridays, Jump or Dive, Catch the Sammy and for never giving up hope on improving the Cleo Flip (Degree of Difficulty 2.5). Cleo would also like to thank Mary Lynn, her fellow seniors, and the rest of the Tiger divers for making her time on the team very memorable. She thanks her parents and all the parents for eleven years of support at meets, practices and Tiger Madness! Cleo will be attending The College of Wooster where she will be studying theatre. During her free time in college she hopes to continue diving recreationally.
Julia Powell/Oakton: Julia graduated from Oakton High School this past year. She joined the Oakton Otters in 2007, this being her 10th year on the team. She participated in All Stars in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and she received Oakton’s coveted coach’s award in 2009. Julia was also a member of the Oakton High School swim and dive team all four years of high school and competed in the 6A North regional championships in 9th, 10th, and 12th grade, helping the girls win the Virginia 6A state title in 2013 and 2014. Also in high school Julia was a member of the National Honor Society and the science honor society. In the fall she will be attending James Madison University to study pre-med.
Bryce Shelton/Cardinal Hill: Bryce has been part of the Cardinal Hill Dive team for 15 summers, and has been an assistant coach for the past four summers. Bryce’s diving accomplishments are numerous – staring with Cardinal Hill, he holds all of the pool’s diving records! In addition, he is a three-time state champion, a four-time All American, and has six National Championships. Bryce also holds the George C. Marshall, conference, regional and State high school records. A true student-athlete, Bryce earned an Academic All American GPA as an IB student who graduated with honors from GCM. He will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall on a diving scholarship, and will study engineering.
Teal Shuppin/Fairfax Station: Teal Shuppin has been diving in the NVSL since she was 9 years old. She has dove in ten divisional meets and two All-Star meets. This year she has been an assistant coach for the Flyers. Teal graduated from Mountain View High School and will attend Davis & Elkins College in the fall.
Haley Simkins/Hamlet: Haley has been on the dive team for 11 years and has been an assistant coach for the last three years, at least. Haley received The Coaches Award last year for her hard work and positive attitude. She has been a top scorer and divisional diver for too many years to remember. Haley also competed and lettered every year on the Langley High School Dive Team. Haley’s favorite dive is the back dive straight. Haley loves getting to know the youngest divers and experiencing the excitement of them improving and learning new dives. She says there are so many great dive team memories and they all involve hanging out with team mates during meets and practice! Haley will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall.
Nico Torres/Kent Gardens: Nico has been diving since he was 8 years old and has been an assistant coach since his freshman year of high school. He graduated this past spring from Bishop O'Connell. He plans on attending Virginia Tech next year in the fall and double major in international business and hotel management.
Emily Travis/Mantua: Emily Travis began diving for Mantua in 2007 at the age of 9. During her summer seasons with Mantua, Emily has competed yearly at Divisionals. In 2012, Emily began working as an Assistant Dive Coach. She especially enjoys working with the youngest divers on the team and seeing how much they grow during a season. Emily attended High School at the Connelly School of the Holy Child. Emily was on the varsity dive team for 4 years and qualified for the Independent School League, Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swim & Dive League Championships, and Metro Dive Championships. Emily would like to thank Tina Smith, Tiffany Pripeton, Ali Murphy, James Clement, and Aaron Bergman, her Mantua Coaches. Emily would also like to thank her brother Ryan, a former Mantua diver, for introducing her to the dive team, her sister, Grace, and her parents Heidi and Jeff for being very supportive. Emily will be attending Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA as a nursing major.
Audrey Van Winkle/Dunn Loring: Audrey joined the Dunn Loring dive team when she was 7 years old following in her older sister’s footsteps. Her favorite dive memories are going out to ihop or Dairy Queen after every meet, donut days, cheering at dive meets, and getting to spend every summer with her friends and family on the team. Audrey is a graduate of Marshall High School where she played field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. She will attend UVA in the fall.
Jared Wagner/Hayfield: Jared Wagner is a Hayfield Secondary School Graduate where he was a 4 year letter winner in dive and was on Academic Honor Roll. He spends a lot of time at Hayfield pool diving and as a lifeguard. He is looking forward to attending Christopher Newport University in the Fall. Jared is the son of Jed and Gayle Wagner.
Sarah Wilkowske/Pinecrest:: Sarah has been diving with the Pinecrest Piranhas for 6 years and finished 8th in the NVSL Divisionals as a senior diver during the 2013 season. Sarah also has competed as a diver for South Lakes High School, lettered all four years and was team captain in her senior year. During high school, Sarah was a National Japanese Honor Society member and officer, and won the outstanding Japanese student award. Sarah will be attending the College of William and Mary in the fall.
Jessica Yellowitz/Mantua: This is Jessica Yellowitz’s 11th year diving for Mantua and 4th as an assistant coach. She joined the team in 2006 as an 8-year-old. Over the years, Jessica has played basketball, volleyball, and soccer, but diving is the only sport she stayed with. She’s received a number of team awards throughout the years, including the Novice, Most Improved, Everest and the Shannon Awards. For a number of years, she has sang the National Anthem before home meets, and at divisionals, as well as at Cracker Jack and All-Stars a few times. In the fall, Jessica will be attending Middle Tennessee State University’s school of Media and Entertainment. She will be majoring in commercial songwriting with a minor in entrepreneurship. Jessica would like to thank her mom for running the team for 4 years, and for all the time and effort she has put into the team, as well as her dad for announcing for so many years, as well as current team rep, Ena Murphy. She also wants to thank all of her past and present coaches, including Aaron Bergman, Tiffany Pripeton, James Clement, and Tina Smith, for always encouraging her and helping her to become a better diver.
Matt Young/Ravensworth: Matt has been a diver at Ravensworth for 10 years. He was also a diver for all four years of high school at Lake Braddock for which he was voted captain of the dive team. His favorite Ravens memories include diving in Divisionals, learning a back and a half and doing it every meet for three years. His other favorite summer dive memories include "sweeping" with Dominic and Devin and becoming a coach so he can teach little divers cool skills. His favorite high school dive memories include winning the Conference three years in a row and earning pizza for placing. Matt will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall to study engineering.