Swim and Dive gears up for season


Taylor Stinson

With an award-winning coach and several seasons of finishing in first, the Grizzlies prepare for opponents IUPUI and Notre Dame.

Freshman Bernadette Turchi has joined the Oakland University women’s dive team this year and is making strides. Like the rest of her team, she’s ready to make an impression on the Horizon League this season

“The main goal I’m working hard to achieve, is believing in myself and to get over my fear of doing new dives,” Turchi said.

The Golden Grizzlies have been first place in the Horizon League since 2014 and were first place in Summit League from 2008-2013. For most at the collegiate level, basketball and football tend to be the main focus of the student body. But other teams have been just as victorious.

“The competitions are both fun and intense,” Turchi said. “I of course get nervous especially because it’s my first year competing at a division one collegiate level, but at the end of the day I get over it because diving is what I enjoy doing.”  

Throughout the Horizon League, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee has been behind Oakland every year since joining the league.

Larry Albright is the head diving coach for the Golden Grizzlies and the 2017-18 season will be his 11th year as a diving coach. He coaches both the men’s and the women’s diving teams and has won various awards for his coaching. Albright was awarded Horizon League Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for both 2014 and 2015; as well as the Men’s Diving Coach of the Year during the 2016-17 season.

He has also coached and administered the Starz Diving Satellite Program and was responsible for coaching the techniques and mechanics of diving while also overseeing the strength and conditioning component of the program.

Albright continues to make his diving team a safe and supportive atmosphere, especially for new players.

“The swim and dive team is a team that consists of multiple personalities which creates a very diverse team,” Turchi said. “I look forward to every practice because I know I’ll get a laugh out of it or a funny new memory.”

The blending of personalities is critical to coherence and understanding of one another; without trust there is no bond and no reason to aim high. Having fun is the next priority as it creates support and confidence within the team.

In regards to competition this season, Notre Dame and IUPUI are tough and elegant competition, according to Turchi. At the IUPUI tournament, Turchi was in third place for the one meter and three meter diving competitions earning herself 228.08 and 239.93 points. She believes she definitely has room to improve but feels her scores are still impressive for a freshman. Her ultimate goal is to qualify for the NCAA and potentially beat the one and three meter diving records. Turchi would also like to see more familiar faces at swim and dive meets, saying, “It would be fun if we had more students come to our home meets.”

The next home meet is against University of Illinois at Chicago on Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.