We caught up with this active Indian to discuss, diving, high school life and more By Dave Conard, Sports Editor UnionvilleTimes.com
EAST MARLBOROUGH—It’s doubtful if you passed sophomore McKayla Mawn in the hallways of Unionville High School that she would make much of a first impression.
After all she is not six foot tall with the frame of a division one basketball hopeful, nor does she display forceful mannerisms that may accompany as perspective a softball player or championship lacrosse player, actually at first glance she appears to be your average teenager trying to navigate through the muddled waters that are high school life.
Get Miss Mawn in the water near a one meter diving board and she will blow you away with her abilty, as she is the current school record holder, an honor she snagged last year as a freshman.
The score of 210.45, which she set last season, obliterated a long-standing school mark and has fueled her passion to become the best diver in school history.
Ironically enough, three years ago Mawn would have never even dreamt of owning a school record in swimming, as she was spending her afternoons and early mornings training to be gymnast at KMC Gymnastics, a work ethic which she has carried over to her training regiment today, which includes, three-three hour diving sessions each week along with the time spent in the weight room.
“I loved gymnastics, but had a major injury,” said Mawn. “I spent five years competing and when my mom suggested diving I was hesitant at first but now I love it, it was actually a fairly simple transition as a lot of the same skills are required.
“Having McKayla on the team is such a huge help,” said Unionville head swimming and diving coach Erin Carey. “She is so great with our other kids and showing them her work ethic as well as knowing that we are always going to get points form diving, makes a big impact on close meets.”
Getting to know our Top of the Tribe highlighted student, seven questions we had to ask the diving school record holder.
What is your ultimate goal for this season and the future?
“My goal is to qualify for states this year, and win states at some point, I would love to dive in college and pursue it as far as I can go.”
Who has influenced you the mot in your life and diving?
“My mom has always been amazing in supporting me in anything I do. My dive coaches at West Chester Dive Club Ron Jenkins and Adam Vance have done so much for me and shown me how to elevate my degree of difficulty.”
What kind of music do you listen to, getting ready for a meet or just kicking it?
“I love alternative music to get ready to compete, Ron Jenkins is one of my favorites. When I am just hanging out top 50 stuff id usually what I listen to.”
What has been the biggest adjustment to how you prepare and did you ever think as a freshman you hold a school record?
“OMG, no way. I did not even know what the old record was; it was amazing doing that last year. The biggest adjustment is the half dives. On the floor you always have to land your jumps completely, in the pool there are a lot of dives that require half landing, that was tough at first.”
If you were able to hang out with three people in the world for a day, whom would you choose?
“Well first it would be Greg Louganis, he is the best the world has ever seen. Second would be Mary Ellen Clark, she is a great diver and has taught at my club and third would be my favorite actress Rachel McAdams, she seems like such a “real”, down to Earth person even though she is a great actress.”
What is a motto or phrase that best describes you and your work ethic?
“Find a way, what ever you want to achieve, find a way. The only person that stop if you if you want something badly is your self, find a way to get it done.”
What plans do you have for the future?
“My goal is to attend an Ivy League school, I want to study Math and English.”
Check back with UnionvilleTimes.com for upcoming “Top of the Tribe” profiles on seniors Richard Sampson, Caitlin Clark and Erinn Minninger.