Paly divers sign with prestigious universities

Seniors Cole Plambeck and Nadya Nee are excited to join the college diving teams at Duke University and University of Pennsylvania, respectively.

Plambeck and Nee have been diving at Paly for the past three years, and they are planning to continue this spring. In addition, they have been diving at the Stanford Diving Club for several years, where they practice year round.

Both students are very passionate about diving. Nee especially enjoys the process of learning and practicing new dives.

“The best part about diving is the adrenaline rush I get, especially after learning new dives,” Nee said.

However, Plambeck, like many other divers, prefers competition, as he believes that it is the most exciting part of the sport.

“I do enjoy competitions because it is inspiring to see really good divers, and I like to showcase what I have been working on,” Plambeck said.

After Plambeck and Nee trained intensely for several years, their dedication paid off when they were accepted to top level colleges early in the school year, while most seniors must wait until second semester to hear back from colleges.

“It was definitely really exciting to get the acceptance letter,” Nee said. “It’s weird though because I’m done, but all my friends are still worrying about college.”

Even though the college struggle is facilitated for athletes, it is still a difficult process to visit schools and to be recruited. According to Plambeck, he chose to look at colleges that have good academics and athletics, and then emailed the college coaches his academic information and videos of him diving. When colleges offered him opportunities to visit the campus, he went on tours to experience being a student at that school.

“The process is not that stressful overall,” Plambeck said. “But communicating with all the coaches at once can be difficult.”

Although recruitment can be complicated, Nee’s Stanford coach, Doug Schwandt, helped guide her through the college recruiting process.

“Doug was really helpful with the recruiting process,” Nee said. “Some the college coaches contacted him and he also helped me create my diving video to send to the coaches.”

In addition, Plambeck and Nee helped each other decide which schools to visit.

“Cole gave me lots of guidance on the recruitment process,” Nee said. “It was really helpful having a friend who was going through the same process, so we could exchange information and advice.”

Although Nee’s coaches and teammates helped guide her through the recruitment process, she still had a difficult time choosing which college to attend. Nee was deciding between Dartmouth, Yale, and University of Pennsylvania, and in the end, she chose University of Pennsylvania since she believed that it was the best fit for her.

“[University of Pennsylvania] was definitely one of my top choices,” Nee said. “The other schools that I looked at were all really good and it was a really tough decision, but in the end it came down to the schools more than the diving programs.”
Similarly, Plambeck committed to Duke University because he loved the school’s diving program and the student environment.

“I took a recruiting trip [to Duke] this fall which was amazing,” Plambeck said. “I loved the campus, team, coaching and facilities, and the students I met there were really interesting. I took other trips to Harvard and Princeton, which were both great schools, but Duke was my favorite.”

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