Maggie Hayes: Southeast sophomore submerged in her sport


Lilly Young, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Imagine spending, on average, four hours a day in the water. Southeast sophomore Maggie Hayes does just this — and no, she doesn’t spend four hours showering. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Hayes dives from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and then again from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Hayes dives from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Southeast, and from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m for her club dive team — forget about homework.

Having been a serious diver since around the age of 11, Hayes dives for Nebraska Dive Club (NDC) and was a part of Southeast’s state dive team during the 2018-2019 school year.

“At Southeast, it’s really fun because it’s not necessarily as intense as club is. When you’re diving for club, you have to think about scouts and the future,” Hayes said. “But then, for high school, it’s just fun and you don’t have to worry about if you do badly or anything.”

For high school diving last year, Hayes dove at the Nebraska State Tournament at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, coming in 10th place. She was also awarded the All-State honor, which means that she scored a maximum of 40 points during the season. During 2013, Hayes came in first place for her tower event at the Nationals Dive Tournament. 

The twist dive is a competitive category of diving where the person starts from either a standing or running position, and rotates their body on a long axis towards the water. 

“I like twisting, because I’m pretty tall, and so it looks pretty good,” Hayes said. 

However, like many sports, diving requires dedication, and therefore, Hayes has had sacrifice many things in order to do it.
“It’s hard to hang out with people, and I don’t really have a lot of free time, especially when I have to go to club [practice] after high school practice. My hair and skin hate it, because chlorine is so bad for you,” Hayes said.

Despite the setbacks, though, Hayes loves the sport, which, in her eyes, makes the sacrifice worth it. “It’s not very common, so I think that’s fun. Because not a lot of people do it, you become really close with the people who do dive. It’s not like people just come for a little bit and then leave,” Hayes said. “It’s more like a family.”

Hayes also hopes to dive in the future for college, and has aspirations to become a dive coach. “Right now, I’m looking at a few colleges… For [Division 1], like Kansas University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln — and some tinier colleges. There’s a really cool D-2 school in Oregon called Lewis and Clark College,” Hayes said.

Hayes hopes to represent Southeast at the Diving State Tournament this year, which will be held sometime in the middle of February 2020.