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Baldwin School diver Megan Cooper is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Megan Cooper

The Baldwin School sophomore became the first-ever Polar Bear to win the Inter-Ac diving championship, posting a score of 257.30 for six dives. She broke the school diving record on the Polar Bears’ first meet of the season and has broken it twice since. She also finished first at the Upper Dublin High School Diving Classic earlier this season. Outside of the pool, she is the head representative of  the Technology Student Association at Baldwin, and is involved in the Art Club and Florilege, the French club. She wants to pursue a career in the STEM field, and can recite from memory the first 55 digits of pi.

Q: What in your opinion has been your best dive so far this season? What was the key to your performance on that dive?

A: My best dive this season has probably been my 403C (inward one and a half tuck). It is one of my most consistent and highest scoring dives. During the dive, I have to be patient so I can catch the board, and at the end, I have to have a strong kick out to rip the dive or land straight up and down with minimal splash.

Q: What was your most memorable moment during the Inter-Ac diving championships? What was the key to your success that day? What did it mean to you to be the first Baldwin diver to place first at Inter-Acs?

A: My most memorable moment during the diving competition was being able to spend it with my teammates. They were so supportive before and after each dive, and they made the experience truly unforgettable. It means everything to be the first Baldwin diver to win Inter-Acs! Diving is not a well-known sport at Baldwin as we do not practice at Baldwin. However, after winning Inter-Acs, diving has become much more recognized at my school.

Q: How do you adjust to different boards, and how important is it to get practice in at different sites?

A: I find it challenging to adjust to different boards.  I try to take advantage of the open warm up during the beginning of competitions to find my correct setting and get used to the new board.

Q: Have you ever felt that you hit a perfect dive? Was it in competition or just practicing?

A: Yes, I have felt that I have hit a dive perfectly at practice and in competitions. I consider a dive to be successful when I catch the board, flip quickly, and rip the dive.

Q: What are your best dives, in order?
A: Fronts, Inwards, Twisters, Reverses, and Backs.

Q: Tell us a little about your pre-meet preparation the day of a meet.

A: Before a meet, I pack my bag, eat a healthy breakfast and visualize my dives.  

Q: Take us through a typical workout session, both in the pool and in the weight room.

A: Since last February, I have been training at the Germantown Academy Aquatic Club. During a typical water practice, we do warm-ups and poolside drills.  On the diving board, we do practice jumps and run through our lists. Each week, we usually have 3-4 dryland practices that involve working on core strength, stretching, and trampoline skills.  The belts (on the trampoline) are my favorite part of dryland because I am able to practice new dives, safely, in the air before attempting them in the water.

Q: What aspect of your diving have you been working on the most recently? Who have been your biggest diving mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?

A: Since I am in the middle of competition season, I have been working on the mental aspect of my diving.   I would say my biggest diving mentors have been my coaches. Coach Justin Gaudreau was my first diving coach and my Baldwin coach.  I credit him with inspiring me to continue diving full time. He is always encouraging me to find the fun in diving. Coach Tom Henninger is my club coach and is by far one of the most inspiring, caring, and motivating coach.  He encourages us to do our best, try our hardest, and to have fun. He teaches me not to focus on my scores or place, but how I dove and what I can improve for my future meets.

Q: What is your favorite academic course at Baldwin? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?

A: My favorite academic course at Baldwin is Chemistry. I enjoy learning about the sciences. That class can be challenging at times, but I love the content, so I am always eager to learn more.  I want to pursue a career in the STEM field. With hopes of attending a Service Academy, I will be able to use my passion for STEM in my everyday life.

Fun facts – Megan Cooper
Favorite book: The Martian, by Andy Weir.
Favorite TV show: Friends or The Office.
Favorite movie: Megan Leavey.
Favorite athlete: Thomas Daley.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: “Rise Up” by Andra Day.
Favorite place to visit: “Anywhere by an ocean!”
Favorite pre-meet meal: Mac and cheese.
Person I most admire, and why: “I admire and look up to both of my parents. They came from humble backgrounds and became military officers and doctors.”

(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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