Friday, April 16, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Alquist Loves Diving for the Tigers

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Sophomore Eva Alquist has been making key contributions to the Tigers as a diver throughout the past two seasons. Eva recently posted her lifetime-best point total in a meet against Branford. Photo courtesy of Karen Alquist

Sophomore Eva Alquist has been making key contributions to the Tigers as a diver throughout the past two seasons. Eva recently posted her lifetime-best point total in a meet against Branford. (Photo courtesy of Karen Alquist )

Eva Alquist is only a sophomore on the girls’ swimming and diving team at Daniel Hand High School, but she’s made quite a splash during her two seasons on the team. Eva qualified to dive at the Southern Connecticut Conference Championship as a freshman and is having another solid season on the diving board this fall.

Eva competed on the gymnastics circuit for 10 years prior to joining the Tigers’ swim squad. Eva believes that her skills on the gymnastics mat helped her make an effective transition to life as a diver.

“I have been doing diving for about two years now,” says Eva. “I started diving because, when I decided to stop gymnastics, I thought that diving would be an easy transition since I had a lot of the necessary form already. My favorite category of diving so far is definitely fronts.”

Head Coach Jen Lyman has been pleased to see Eva working hard at refining the form of her dives. Lyman says that one of Eva’s best attributes is the confidence that the sophomore brings to the board.

“Eva has had a terrific season representing the Lady Tigers. She showcases—in practice and on the diving board—confidence, grace, and determination,” Lyman says. “Eva’s journey to contribute points to the team while representing Tiger pride is a full commitment from her and her family.”

Part of that commitment requires Eva to travel to Cheshire to practice her diving. However, Eva appreciates the fact that she’s able to get in her reps, no matter where that’s happening.

“One of the things that has been the hardest was probably having to drive 40 minutes just to practice. I also had to leave school early just to get there on time. But I was so grateful that I was able to practice every day,” Eva says. “One of the major things that kept me motivated was just that feeling after gaining a new dive. My expectations for the rest of the year is to get my front double and have fun.”

Eva has been having plenty of fun since signing up to dive for the Tigers last year. Eva enjoys the connection that she’s made with her teammates, along with the thrill that comes when she successfully executes a new dive.

“My favorite aspect of diving is probably that feeling you get after get a new dive down. Then you come out of the water, and everyone is clapping. That’s a great feeling,” says Eva. “One of the biggest things is just simply showing up to practice and doing it with a positive attitude.”

Eva turned in the best performance of her career to date when Hand defeated Branford on Oct. 5. She took first place in the diving competition by posting a lifetime-best score of 187.35 points at that meet. Eva credits much of her success to what she’s learned from her diving coach, Kim Caruso of Elite Diving.

“I have a very close relationship with my dive coach,” Eva says. “She understands me like no one else, and I plan on working hard to keep improving my dives. This has been a lot of fun for me so far.”

Coach Lyman is glad that Eva decided to test her mettle as a diver with the Tigers. Lyman can’t wait to see what Eva can achieve during the next two years of her high school career.

“Eva earned a varsity spot on the team as a freshman and achieved her personal highest-score in the second virtual meet of the season,” says Lyman. “We are so excited to have her a part of the team and doing what she loves.”


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