Kellyn Toole, a freshman communication studies major, recently became the second Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champion from Chapman, and the first Chapman student to gain multiple awards from the conference, winning the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, also qualifying for and competing in the NCAA Diving Regionals where she placed eighth and sixth, respectively.
1. How old were you when you started diving and why did you start?
I started my freshman year of high school. I was doing gymnastics and one of the girls from my gymnastics team was on the dive team. She said, ‘You should try it for fun,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ So then I just dove for my high school. I never did club or anything, I just did it in high school for fun.
2. What motivates you to continue with the sport?
I’m pretty self-motivated. Robbie, my coach, and my teammates on the swim team are really great motivators. They’re always there during meets, cheering me on. I put a lot of pressure on myself, so I get very disappointed when I don’t dive my best. It’s hard for me because I don’t do well under pressure, so I have to ease back and just have fun.
3. Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
When I get stressed out during meets, I have to touch everything twice. So Robbie always high-fives me twice before I go, and afterward, he’ll fist bump me twice. Cierra, the other diver, and I have this dance when she’s at meets. But when she’s not there, I still do it by myself.
4. What is your favorite part of being on the Chapman diving team?
The people I’ve met. There’s only one other diver, Cierra, which was super weird for me because in high school, there was like ten of us. It was weird, but I’ve become really close with her, Robbie, and the whole swim team. Just the community aspect of it has been really fun.
5. What would you like to do in the future?
I’m going to dive the next three years that I’m here. I’m going to go into advertising for school, so I see myself out here doing something in the entertainment industry for fun.
6. Now that the season is over, what do you look forward to the most?
Overall, freshman year of college was a big adjustment and I had a pretty rough go, with diving, school and everything, so it was just hard. Hopefully next year, I’ll have it more figured out and it’ll be smoother. I’m just ready to have a good time.
7. Which title was more difficult and why?
Definitely 3-meter. I love 1-meter because I did it all throughout high school. I hated 3-meter and still kind of don’t like it that much. Carli, the girl who got second, had a harder list than me, so I really had to hit all of my dives. That was kind of a rough go, but then I did really well.