NYSPHSAA DIVING: Neu preps for state

Shawn Vargo
Danielle Neu talks with her coach and mom Sheri Neu during a meet earlier this year.

Bath Haverling diver Danielle Neu is ready to make a big splash at Friday’s NYSPHSAA state meet at Ithaca College.??

OK, to be honest, she’ll be trying to make as little of a splash as she can throughout her program – you get the idea.??

Neu, a senior this year, is looking to get a little farther than she did in 2011, when she was cut in the semifinal round in 23rd place.??

“That’s the tough thing about diving, you’re not just up against Class C. You compete against all of the best divers in the state in Class A, B and C,” said Bath head coach Sheri Neu. “Her goal this year is to make the finals. The top 16 make the finals. If she finishes anywhere in there we’ll be happy.”??

Neu’s efforts this season have proven she’ll be a worthy contender against the state’s best, as she began Bath’s regular season recovering from a back injury.

??“She healed up and began working on her dive list,” Sheri Neu said. “She added some new difficulty in her twisting dives – that’s her best category.”??

The results were immediate.

??Neu won every dual meet she competed in, helping the Rams post an undefeated 10-0 record this season. She closed the season by setting a pool record in Bath, as well as records at the Livingston County meet and the Section V, Class C meet.??

“She’s done the right things leading up to this,” Sheri Neu said. “She’s practiced and practiced. She knows her dives very well. Now she just has to take it one dive at a time.”

??Preliminaries will begin at Ithaca College at 3 p.m. Friday, with finals slated for later in the day. One thing that Neu will have going for her is the fact that she’s been to states once before.??

“Having that experience from last year, she knows what to expect. That’s good, too,” Sheri Neu said.??

According to Sheri Neu, each dive will be judged before the two highest, as well as the two lowest scores are thrown out.??

“That’s very fair scoring. All of the middle scores stay,” Sheri Neu said. “This will be the second year of her doing a difficult list. She’s comfortable with the dives and now it’s all about trying to hit the entries. Everyone is going to be good at states, so entries are huge.” ?

??Regardless of the outcome, just getting to this point has made her senior year a great one.??

“After last year, she wanted to return to states. She wanted to polish everything,” Sheri Neu said. “It’s nice she has second chance to go back.??

“She’s a hard worker and she has a great attitude and she’s accomplished a lot this season. I just want her to be loose and confident – with no pressure. She’s been committed and has worked hard for this, but she also knows that she’s going to a place that few kids get to experience and she needs to enjoy it.”

Bath Haverling diver Danielle Neu competes in a meet earlier this year.