Poised on the BoardJamestown’s Lind hasn’t lost in N.D. since 2010 Even with her impeccable diving record in North Dakota, Alex Lind still gets nervous.
By: Illustration and story by Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown’s Lind hasn’t lost in N.D. since 2010
Even with her impeccable diving record in North Dakota, Alex Lind still gets nervous.
The Jamestown High School senior hasn’t lost in North Dakota in two years, yet nerves are still felt on every dive.
But her levelheadedness keeps her nerves at bay. She doesn’t get “more nervous” or “less nervous” at certain meets, and that strategy has paid off at the end of each season.
“At the end of the year, I’m more calm at the bigger meets than I am throughout the whole entire year,” Lind said. “Once you do it so many times, you get used to it.”
So while other divers’ nerves reach an all-time high at the state swimming and diving meet today in Bismarck, Lind will likely be as even-keeled as she’s always been — with just a handful of nerves.
“I do get nervous, but I try to keep myself calm and keep focused,” she said. “No matter the meet, I look at it like every meet matters.”
JHS coach Ben Smith said being a good diver requires a strong mental discipline.
“Mentally, you have to be a lot tougher to be a diver,” Smith said. “You have to have the skill level to be able to perform the dive, and you have to be able to perform the dive at that given moment. You don’t have any re-dos or timeouts.”
Lind credits her success to a routine that sees her dive “30 to 40 times” during practice. She calls herself “kind of superstitious” in what she does at practice and her preparation for every meet.
A state champion as a junior, Lind is hoping to repeat her undefeated performance as a senior. She went to diving camps in the offseason and spent time on the board as often as she could.
“I wanted to keep that streak going throughout the whole entire year and finish it up at state,” she said.
She’s done that and more, breaking her own school and pool record on senior night with a dual score of 269.45.
“I just felt like I nailed all of them,” she said. “I knew it would be close and I did it.”
Lind is bound for Arizona State, though she has yet to decide if she wants to give diving a try. She said she intends on pursuing that when the season’s done.
Smith said she’s drawn interest from diving schools at all levels. For now, Lind is concentrated on becoming the Blue Jays’ first back-to-back state champion in nearly 10 years, according to Smith.
“I think that state’s gonna be one of our best meets,” Lind said. “Ben’s a really good coach. He knows when to work swimmers hard. Now, we’re tapering. I think we’re gonna have a really good turnout at state.”
Lind is one of four seniors on the team, all of whom have found ways to make their own impacts.
Kamie Wager — who competes as part of a co-op with Valley City — joins Abby Wanzek, Chelsey Middaugh and Lind as the veterans on the team.
Each has contributed in their own way, Smith said.
“Kamie has been one of our highest point-scorers for a long time,” Smith said. “Abby is one of the state’s top divers. … Chelsey’s really progressed as a swimmer. She shows a lot of heart.”
Smith said dedication is the main theme in this group.
“This year’s seniors are really special. … They’ve gone through the program and seen its changes,” Smith said. “We’re taking 17 girls to state, which is bigger than our state team last year. That’s a great goal. … They’ve been practicing well. Everybody looks good in the water.”
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org