Aiming for the top
By Mike Beas
Emma Wolf is three months removed from one of the more painful experiences of her high school diving career. One that could’ve emotionally detached the Brownsburg senior from future competitions had she been an athlete of lesser resolve.
During a practice dive from a 10-meter platform at an outdoor facility in Noblesville, Wolf experienced the misfortune of having her face touch water first. Rather than distancing herself from the sport she loves out of fear of another such episode, Wolf continues to enthusiastically climb the steps leading to her comfort zone.
Wolf placed seventh at the state finals last season, accruing 459.95 points at the IUPUI Natatorium in the 1-meter competition. She was one of three Hendricks County divers to finish in the top 16, the others being runner-up and Plainfield sophomore Daryn Wright, and Wolf’s teammate, senior Maya Leman. As a freshman, Wolf advanced to the preliminary round of the finals to complete what was her first full season in the sport.
Brownsburg swim coach Keith Gast believes Wolf’s most impressive postseason run will take place in the days and weeks ahead.
“We feel this is definitely a year where Emma could finish in the top five and even potentially in the top three,” said Gast. “Her love of the sport and her desire to be great, there was never any doubt she would get back on the board. She’s just a great kid. Emma is a little quiet and a little more lead-by-example, and I know her teammates have a ton of respect for her.”
Wolf did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: In the fall, you landed face-first on a practice dive. What exactly happened?
A: I was doing an inward three-and-a-half and I didn’t get all the way around. It hurt. It was pretty scary, but fortunately I had a pretty quick recovery. At first, I was a little nervous to go back and do the tougher dives.
Q: Diving requires a level of fearlessness. Where does that come from?
A: The motivation just comes from the goals I’ve set. I did gymnastics up until the eighth grade, and I was a little kid when I started. For a while, I thought I would do gymnastics in college, but once I made the switch, I decided I wanted to dive in college.
Q: How big of a change was it going from gymnastics to diving?
A: It was a lot bigger of a change than I thought it would be. There were a lot of belly-flops and a lot of back flops, but I never thought of giving up.
Q: You have accepted a scholarship to dive at Indiana University. Were there other college women’s swimming and diving programs that showed interest in you?
A: Illinois offered, and Kentucky was interested. With Indiana, location was a big part of it, and the teammates and coaches were a big part of it.