University of Maine Junior diver Kara Capossela earned her fourth America East Diver of the Week award of the season on Jan. 22. Capossela certainly deserved the honor, after breaking school records for both the 1 and 3-meter springboard.
During the meet against Bowdoin College last Saturday, Capossela took first place in the 1-meter springboard with a school record score of 265.75. She also won the 3-meter springboard event, breaking another school record with a score of 279.65.
“It was really exciting,” Capossela said. “I’ve had my eyes set on it since I was a freshman. Being a junior and finally getting it was really exciting.”
“She’s always going a mile a minute,” head coach Susan Lizzotte said. “From the moment we recruited her, I knew this was a goal of hers. We always knew she had the ability.”
Capossela’s record in the 3-meter springboard is also the top mark in America East so far.
The thought of breaking the records has always been in the back of Capossela’s mind and, during her recent training trip, the diver has achieved her goals.
“We went to Florida for training — it’s the first time the divers have went — and after that, I knew that I could do it,” Capossela said. “I went in thinking, ‘I’m going to try and do it this meet,’ and I did.”
“The training in Florida just really helped her zero in on everything,” Lizzotte said. “Instead of staying here with only four divers, she was with 55 divers.”
Capossela’s record-breaking performances have been a huge confidence boost, and she is happy with her showing, but she doesn’t plan to stop climbing the ranks.
“I want to get even higher of a score and keep moving forward,” she said.
Capossela is also focused on the team aspect of the sport rather than her individual success.
“We do everything with the swimmers, but towards the end of the year the swimmers and divers kind of go in different directions with how much they swim or dive, so I think just being a team and really understanding each other is the most important thing,” Capossela said.
“The team aspect for her is huge. She’s definitely a leader,” Lizzotte said. “She’s always the first one to speak up at practice and encourages her teammates, and I think that all of this makes her who she is.”
Capossela has had her eyes on these records since she came to UMaine, which isn’t uncommon among swimmer and divers.
“For diving you have to have six good dives the whole time. It’s been on her mind, and coming back from Florida she came back with new dives for the 3 meter and she just cleaned up everything,” Lizzotte said. “I think she was focused to get it, and it’s always been on the back of my mind too.”
Unlike swimming, a diver’s success can be quickly determined.
“It only takes a couple of dives to know if it’s going to be there or not going to be there, and it was definitely there,” Lizzotte said.
Capossela credits much of her success to her coaches, family and teammates.
“I think all my coaches and my parents and teammates have had a lot to do with this,” Capossela said. “My brother is on the team here, and he was a huge help to me.”