Former Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School diver Nicole Glazer, who won the 2010 Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving title, “did the whole swim thing.”
It was fun, she said. But she didn’t love it.
Then she saw former B-CC standout Shana Karp, who finished second at the 2006 Metros and recently wrapped up a four-year Stanford University diving career, propelling herself off the Rock Creek Pool springboard. Glazer begged her mother, Judy, to sign up for the swim club’s newly formed Montgomery County Dive League team.
“To see someone diving off the board, it’s so graceful,” Glazer said. “There’s something so mesmerizing about it.”
The University of Louisville rising junior is back at Rock Creek this summer for her 11th season, though only in a coaching capacity this time.
She aged out of the league after winning last summer’s MCDL All-Star meet in the Girls 15-to-18-year old division.
Her focus this season, she said, is to help the younger members of her team find their passion for diving.
After all, she added, that’s what the 35-year-old league is about.
The MCDL was founded in the late 1970s with only a handful of teams, according to the league’s website.
This summer more than 900 divers will compete for 25 teams.
The seven-week season, which kicked off Saturday, includes five dual meets, a divisional championship and the season-ending all-star meet scheduled for July 25-26.
Tanterra was the 2011 Division I champion with 25 total points, followed by Old Georgetown (23) and Mill Creek Towne (21).
The league has been the starting point for many national-caliber divers, including this year’s Metros champions Kali Becker (East Gate) of Winston Churchill and T.J. Shinholser (Calverton, Robin Hood) of Paint Branch as well as Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association dive champion, recent Churchill graduate Timothy Faerber (East Gate).
Other national-caliber divers include Churchill’s Mashal Hashem (Country Glen) and Elaina Faerber (East Gate), who finished first and second at the all-star meet in the girls 13-14 division, recent Col. Zadok Magruder graduate Noah Richter (Mill Creek Towne), Walt Whitman’s Simon Carne (Seven Locks) and last year’s 11-12 champion Patrick Collishaw (Old Georgetown).
They’re all back this summer and will join forces with divers of all ages 8-18, some of whom are likely to be future Metros and state winners.
“I started when I was 7,” said Faerber, who set a league record en route to winning last year’s all-star meet. “I was that little kid just starting and I remember watching the older guys and hoping that one day that would be me. There could be a lot of undiscovered talent out there. It’s cool to see them get excited.”
MCDL meets don’t carry the same weight as national competitions but divers look forward to returning to their neighborhood pools where everyone knows each other, Glazer and Faerber agreed.
The league’s more relaxed atmosphere, Faerber said, provides an excellent opportunity to experiment with more difficult dives.
It’s difficult to pique an 8-year-old’s interest, Faerber said. But launching off a bouncy springboard into a well of water seems to do it.
Once drawn to the MCDL, there’s a world of opportunity, Glazer said.
“Diving is unique,” she said. “Kids who are not athletic in sports like soccer with a lot of running, they find diving and they love it. They realize they can be good at something they never thought of.”