Shen senior makes a 'splash' with record-setting dives

February 12, 2018 05:22 PM

We've all seen young children seemingly bouncing off the walls and thought to ourselves if they could only put that energy to good use, there's nothing they couldn't do.

It's a similar story for an area high school senior. Instead of bouncing off the walls, it was a trampoline – and he did find an outlet for all that energy and he's been making quite a splash.

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Nick Lydon, 17, spends a lot of time at the pool. Ten years ago, he was like most 7-year-old kids and enjoyed running and jumping and bouncing.

"I started off in gymnastics a little bit, but all I wanted to do was bounce on a trampoline and just have fun -- so it wasn't really for me," recalled Nick. "My dad asked one of the instructors there, thankfully, what else I could do and the lady said that I could try diving - and my parents signed me up for diving that summer and I loved it."

That love has grown over time, but even in those first few years, Nick showed serious potential.

"Nick is like at another level. He's very technical, which I really enjoy coaching," pointed out Dennis Hogan, the diving coach at Shenendehowa.

He's been watching Nick dive for years, including meets like the Shen Invitational this past December, when Nick did something remarkable.

Without even realizing he had done it, Nick shattered the New York state 11-dive meet record by about 30 points.

"I was kind of just in shock the whole time," admitted Nick.

Hogan thinks the record could stand for a while.

His achievements on the board have scored him a scholarship to the University of Florida. His coach says good grades helped and so did being a good kid.

"When we have other schools here – whether it be an invitational or a dual meet, if he's on the board and maybe another athlete is maybe struggling a little bit, he is right there to help them," noted Hogan. "I think this is all karma," noted Hogan.

The future Gator says he finds his inspiration in his coaches, his idols -- including Greg Louganis -- and his parents, who knew there had to be something more to that early fascination with jumping and twisting through the air.

"They were there for me at every competition. They would flip-flop back and forth. My dad would go, my mom would go. Sometimes they'd both go. All the traveling to different states and stuff like that. They're always there for me," exclaimed Nick.

Nick's still got a lot to do before he heads off to Florida. Right now he has his sights set on sectionals, which he's won three times and the state championships. Last year, he took third.


WNYT Staff

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