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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Donley dives for success

The sport of women’s diving is different then any other sport. It is an individual sport, but also a team sport.

Divers have to practice hard, but also not too much. They have to get their arms out and their knees up, but not over extend them. They have to step right, jump high and not fall off the board, but the smaller the splash the better.

All of these things make up the sport of diving.

Ryan Donley is a senior on the Bowling Green women’s diving team and has been diving for BG for four years.

She has see it all, done what she can, and still holds many goals for this sport. She is a leader on and off the board for the seven other divers.

“I have been diving probably since the age of seven,” Donley said. “At my summer pool they always had the Ohio State divers practice because there was a 5-meter, a 10-meter, two 3 meters, and two 1-meter boards. At the time we were the only outdoor pool that had them, so we would go in the morning and watch them dive. They would do exhibition sometimes and that is pretty much what got me started was watching college divers.”

So Donley came to Bowling Green where she wanted to become one of those college divers that she watched while growing up.

“I had gone to Ohio University and had been to their pool and met their coach and it just didn’t feel right,” Donley said. “I came here and our coach at the time, Bill Kester, was showing me around. As soon as I walked into the pool, I knew this is where I belonged even before meeting the team.”

When Donley walked into Copper Pool she saw the swimmers and divers practicing and heard music from the radio playing in the background.

Donley has been diving for 15 years and it is just as hard as it has ever been. The trick is to make it look easy and effortless without straining your body.

“People know that we practice a lot and it is not as easy as it looks,” Donley said. “You can have mental blocks, you can freak yourself out, some days you have off days, and some days you are on the mark where you need to be and beyond. You put a lot into it. Three hours a day might not seem a lot, but you can only do dives so many times before you either start doing them worse or they don’t get any better.”

Josh Clugston, their new diving coach, helps her with each dive and gives her tips on ways to improve her technique.

There is so much technique that goes into the sport of diving that it can be nearly impossible to think of everything at once.

Knees need to go up, arms need to go out, you might need to twist, flip, stay straight, step right and not fall off the board.

“I am thinking don’t bock or fail a dive,” Donley said. “Bocking is where you do your hurdle and you do your steps and then you do your hurdle where you bring your knee up and you bring it back down and you don’t go off. If you go off you fall, or you don’t do the dive you are supposed to do.”

Her toughest dive these days is a first one and a half straight off the 3-meter, but she knows she can do it.

She is able to watch herself dive on a Tevo, which can help her see the things that she does wrong and help her improve. It helps her record her dive and then be able to watch herself in slow motion so she can see exactly what she has been doing right or wrong on both boards.

Her favorite board right now is the 1-meter. “I have my moments where I like one more than the other and then it will switch,” Donley said. “I have to say that I enjoy the 1-meter a bit more than the 3-meter just because I am able to compete. I have the degree of difficulty that is similar to other divers in the MAC.”

Just like any other athlete on campus, Donley finds the time to compete and keep up with her grades. She even finds it easier to study and do well when diving is in season.

With time management skills that she has learned throughout her four years at BG, every hour in her day becomes an important one. With either studying, going to class, going to practice, getting a bite to eat or catching up on her sleep, she finds time to do it all.

After graduation Donley would like to go to graduate school at Ohio State University and either study criminology or secondary education, but there are still some goals that she would like to accomplish in diving before she is through.

“I would definitely love to be in the top eight at MAC’s in the 1-meter,” Donley said. “Last year I think I got 13th and I messed up on one dive that I didn’t hit correctly for fives and sixes that set me back or I would have been really close.”

The Mid-American Conference Championship is two weeks away and will be Ryan Donley’s last meet as a Falcon.

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