Diving for gold

Shultz Makes a Splash in Her Community

Kinzie Shepherd, Co-Editor In Chief

With a Purdue University All-American diver for a mom and a university diving coach for a dad, senior Brooke Shultz was made for the high dive.

“I was told years ago she had talent people hadn’t seen in a long time,” said her father Dale Shultz, “as a parent you hope that’s true, but as a coach you just never know.”

Shultz is currently in his third stint as the head diving coach at the University of Arkansas. Previously, he coached at the University of Florida in Gainesville where his daughter, Brooke, first began training with him in 2008 at the age of nine.

As you can imagine, the father/student dynamic hasn’t always been the easiest, but Brooke and her father have mastered it.

“When I was younger there were some days that we would fight because I was stubborn. As I’ve gotten older and matured, it’s much better and we have a great relationship.” Shultz stated, “We do a good job of separating the coach-athlete and father-daughter relationship.”

But this isn’t the only challenge that comes with her diving career. Shultz currently trains six days a week and participates in three to four competitions each year on top of maintaining a busy workload at school.

“On weekdays I train 5 until 7 p.m, 2 to 3 days a week I will go in the morning at 5:45 or 6 and train before school and 7:30 until 10:30 on Saturdays.”

All of this hard work has paid off in an incredible way. In just ten years, Shultz has not only proven to her dad, but the world just how talented she is. In 2016, at the age of 17, she participated in her seventh round of the U.S. Diving Nationals where she took home an impressive third place title. At this event, Shultz competed against many skilled divers. First and second place went to Johanna Holloway and Kristen Hayden, respectfully.

Holloway, a sophomore at one of Fort Lauderdale’s most prestigious private schools, Westminster Academy, was the youngest to ever compete at the Olympic Pretrials. While Hayden, a senior in college, has been linked to the swim and dive teams at both the Lewis School at Princeton and the University of Michigan.

Shultz’s competition has been fierce but that hasn’t stopped her from striving to reach her goals.

“I want to make the Olympic team in 2020 and in college I want to win NCAAs.”

In November of this year, Shultz committed to the University of Arkansas’ swim and dive team where she will also pursue a career in business.

But Shultz isn’t just a superstar in the diving world, according to her teachers and peers she shines academically as well.

“Brooke is one of the smartest students in any of my classes this year,” English teacher, Todd Ballinger explained, “she is always studying and she pushes herself harder than any student I’ve seen in the past few years.”

All in all, this girl is definitely one to watch for on and off the diving board.