Record-Breaking: A Story of High school Diver, Nick Merritt

Xanthe Vitaz, Staff Writer

One, Merritt walks onto the diving-board for his last dive. Two, his feet are placed spread across the textured edge of the board. Three, eyes closed, deep breath in. Four, his feet leave the board as he performs his final dive. Five, the water bends around Merritt leaving a large splash for the audience to see. Six, the moment of truth, a record-breaking score glowing across the scoreboard

In just 6 simple seconds, Nick Merritt breaks the 43-year record. 

“I’ve known what the record was for about 8 years,” Nick Merritt 20’ explains. “As soon as I saw my score on the last dive I knew I had beaten it by a lot.”

The record, set in 1977 by Micheal Cook as the 6-dive driving record, had been left unbroken by East Grand Rapid High School divers for 43 years. Merritt’s distant goal was suddenly achieved this month.

“I’ve seen his name on the board since I began diving,” Merritt comments. “I knew I had a chance of beating him but I never imagined beating it by as much as I did, 26 points”

Merritt is one of 3 varsity boys on the East Grand Rapids Swim and Dive Team and the only senior performed Diving has always been a big part of his life but he didn’t begin to take it seriously until his Freshman year. 

“I originally started diving in elementary school, quit, and started again in middle school along with wrestling,” Merritt said. “When I joined the team in high school I decided this was something I wanted to take seriously.”

Merritt’s achievement is already one for the books but with four weeks left in the season, he plans to continue working hard and setting new goals.