LHS dives headfirst into the NSC Championship

Hayden Cook springs off the board. After taking a break, the freshman performed an amazing dive in the sixth round, earning him 125.70 points.

On Feb. 10, 2023, the Libertyville Wildcats met up with the Mundelein Mustangs, Stevenson Patriots and Warren Blue Devils to compete in the North Suburban Conference Diving Championship. The entire event consisted of 11 different rounds, with three different judges rating the performance of each varsity player. There were only two varsity players from the Wildcats that were selected in the championship, that being freshman Hayden Cook and senior Ethan Paul. 

The Wildcats started strong in the first five rounds, with the best moment coming from Ethan earning 237.60 points in round five. After the break, it was announced that Ethan was second place and Hayden was eighth. “I think I knew what I had to do,” said Paul. “I just executed well and never let anything bad happen.”

The next three rounds went well with Ethan Paul soaring away, competing with Stevenson for first place. Despite falling behind, Hayden earned 162.45 points in the eighth round, closing out the second part of the tournament. “I practice [my dives] pretty frequently, but a lot of them are just an offshoot,” Cook said. The freshman attributed much of his success to “practice. Just gotta practice more… The more practice, the better.”

The final three rounds went quickly. The audience, along with the other athletes, praised the divers for their talent and efforts. A key highlight for the Wildcats was Hayden and Ethan racking up more points for the team from start to finish. The final tally of the tournament was senior Ethan Paul in 2nd place with 468.90 points, and freshman Hayden Cook in eighth place with a total of 303.25 points.

“I do believe I’m going to State,” Ethan Paul commented, “and I have high hopes of it being another All-State year.”