Taking a dive: Drew Livingston
March 6, 2009
The diving career of Texas freshman Drew Livingston has started with a splash -- albeit a small one. Livingston claimed his first Big 12 conference diving title last weekend with a total score of 542.95 points, which set a new conference record and is believed to also be a new NCAA record score.
Livingston received numerous perfect 10's during his six-dive platform series, and received six out of seven 10's on his fifth dive. Now, he relives the experience with TexasSports.com
Dive No. 1, front three-and-a-half pike: The first dive is probably the easiest dive on my list, but at the same time, it's the hardest because you have the most nerves going into your first dive. So, you really want to get a good dive off, and that's what I did. Whenever I can get 8.5 or 9's, it's a good feeling.
Dive No. 2, back arm-stand double, with one-and-a-half twists: My second dive is actually my arm-stand dive. That's probably my second-most nerve-racking dive, because being on your hands is not normal, especially at that height. I've been doing it for years and years, but every time you get up there, you think, "Oh wow. I'm on my hands." Once you get off, it's a pretty easy dive. I was very pleased with it.
Dive No. 3, back three-and-a-half tuck: My third dive is the one I've been having the most trouble with. It's a streaky dive for me. I'll hit it a couple times in a row, and then I'll miss it. I had been missing it lately, so I put a lot of emphasis on hitting that dive in the meet, and that's what I did. I think I got one 10 on it, so I was really happy with that.
Dive No. 4, reverse three-and-a-half tuck: Once I'm halfway through my list, I take a feeler of how I'm doing, and I was going really well and just wanted to keep the momentum going. My fourth dive is one of my harder dives, probably my second hardest. I hit that one for 8.5 and 9's. I was really happy I just hit it, because I had been struggling with it.
Dive No. 5, inward three-and-a-half tuck: My fifth dive is the dive I know I can rely on to get enough of a push going into my final dive. I knew I could hit it. How well I could hit it, I didn't know. I came out of the water and saw that I got six out of seven 10's. I've gotten five 10's on a dive before, but never six, so it was just awesome to see all those numbers. It makes all your work really worth it, seeing that.
Dive No. 6, back two-and-a-half, with two-and-a-half twists: I knew I would have the best score going into my last dive, and my last dive is the hardest on my list. It's a 3.8 degree of difficulty, which is one of the hardest you'll see coming off a platform. You really have to try your hardest to get the thing moving, and you have so much adrenaline going at that point, it's pretty easy to do that. I found the bottom, and nailed it.
How quickly are scores posted? Usually, you hit the water, it takes you a couple seconds to come up and once you swim to the wall, that's when the scores are up. It's kind of funny, because it gives you about seven to 10 seconds to think, "Oh man, what'd I get?" Sometimes you can tell by the fans' reactions, but you don't know the exact score.
Can you feel or anticipate during a dive or once you break the water how well you pulled it off? I can usually tell within two points.
Were you expecting all those 10's? I felt good on that dive, but it's hard to tell what a judge is going to think because you can only feel so much. And it felt like a really good dive, but when I saw all those 10's, it blew my mind.