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SKY DIVING Reed Merritt (‘16) practices his dives at Stanford University.

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invaluable focus and maturity, according to their coach Ryan Wallace. “They’re both very talented and tenacious divers,” Wallace said. “Reed always wants to get back in and do another dive, and Mimi’s a real perfectionist. But, they’re still kids.” Still only freshmen and competing in the 14-15 age group nationally, they have a bright future ahead. Lin hopes for a career in college diving by way of a diving scholarship, while Merritt looks further to the Olympics. So every time they smack at practice, it’s not the time to wallow but to get back up and dive again, albeit with at least a touch of enthusiasm and optimism. With the strength and support of their Stanford teammates, they have risen to great heights, only to jump back down again. From the board to the water, Merritt and Lin transform into precise flying machines, culminating hours of training with the concentrated “pop” of the best rip entries. After hours of training, that “pop” will last less that half of a second. <<<

ways come easily. “Through diving I’ve learned to be very resilient when something doesn’t go my way, through all the days where I’ve had a terrible practice or when I screw up on my best dive on my meet,” he said. Lin agreed and expanded on the struggles. “[It’s] the hardest part about diving,” Lin said. “You just have to suck it up and do the dive again regardless of how much it hurts both mentally and physically, and regardless of how scared you are.” Their perseverance and dedication to the sport have seen them through rough practices, allowing them to move through Stanford club diving’s ranks faster than most other divers. Not only did they come pre-packaged with the toe-point, flexibility and physical and mental strength of gymnastics, they both possess

what it takes to compete and succeed at the highest level of the sport. Plambeck believes that the two divers should strive to become the best in the sport and set goals “to place in CCS and become All Americans, because they both have the potential.” Both Merritt and Lin are on the right track to reach elite level, and both have had success with Stanford at national competitions. In 2012, Merritt won the Las Vegas Invite and helped Stanford diving win the Las Vegas Invite and in 2011 Lin won the Summer Age Group National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. (12-13 platform). Too often given a lame reputation at Paly, diving is nothing less than an intense feat. “Diving requires a lot more strength than lots of people think, physically and mentally,” Merritt said. “I don’t know many people who have the balls to jump off a 35-foot platform, doing 2 1/2 flips before you hit the water on your head.” Merritt is one of the few who does, though he notes that it doesn’t al-

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GOLD Anonymous (1) Palo Alto Weekly Palo Alto Medical Foundation Astor Gift and Home Michael Strong and Family SILVER Stutors Anonymous (1) BRONZE Laura Kenney and Bill Sundstrom Portola Kitchen APRIL 2013

The Viking: Volume 6, Issue 5  
The Viking: Volume 6, Issue 5  

Every year elite Palo Alto athletes choose to attend different schools, leaving Paly to wonder: What If?

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