Sophomore dives into a new sport

Sophie Mernitz takes on new challenge


Chandler Watson

Mernitz prepares to dive in a meeting earlier in the session against Noblesville.

Chandler Watson, Sports Co-Editor

Sophomore Sophie Mernitz, although recently successful in diving, didn’t fall in love with the sport until she decided last June to pursue it.

Before diving she had an interest in gymnastics, such a strong interest that she was a gymnast for 13 years and was a Level 9, working on Level 10, when she decided to stop and pursue diving. When asked how she came to decide to switch to diving, Mernitz said, “I was a Level 9 gymnast training 10, and I decided I was ready to retire from gymnastics. I thought diving would be a good fit because it utilizes some of the same skills gymnastics does.” For it only being her first season diving, she’s been very impressive in the eyes of coaches.

Head Coach Ms. Ashley Hill said, “Sophie is performing better than expected in her first season of diving.”


When asked about why she’s preforming so well, Hill said, “(Sophie) is a very hard worker, who pays attention to details and is open to adjusting and learning. The best part of her diving is her height off the board and her control on her flips and twists.” This can be related back to her skills in the gym.

When Mernitz talks about her gymnastics skill having an influence on her diving, she said, “I enjoy being able to use my gymnastics skills to learn new dives.”

“When I first saw Sophie dive in practice I knew she would have a good season,” Hill said about Mernitz’s diving ability. Mernitz’s high ability to control her body in the air through flips and twists and to get very good height off the board lets her add dives of high difficulty to the list of dives she’s capable of doing. Hill said, “This is higher than expected and now [Mernitz] has proven herself to be one of the top divers in the section.”

And although she is performing at a high level, she still is in her first year of diving competitively.

According to Senior Bret Irving who is on the men’s diving team, it’s a good thing that she’s competing at a high level. Irving said, “This season is only her first year. I think is a very good thing for her to be so good at [diving] this early. I feel that her being a great diver and also her eagerness to take in constructive criticism and learn from is a very valuable asset that our team has.” Irving also included that Sophie is a great teammate and she is just as good at taking constructive criticism as she is as helping teammates out when it is necessary.

Mernitz as a teammate

He said, “Sophie is a great teammate. She’s very good at approaching you and being helpful in a kind manner. I think this reflects on her not only as a teammate but also gives people insight to the kind of person that she is.”

As for Mernitz’s motivation, she has a great deal of it. Hill described Mernitz’s work ethic and how it was evident during meets meets. Her ability to learn on the fly and make adjustments as needed is also something that Irving alluded to. Her motivation goes right back to her days in the gym. Mernitz said, “My motivation from diving primarily comes from the mentality of gymnastics. Gymnastics constantly pushes you to be the best you can be, so I like to push myself out of my comfort zone to try and accomplish new skills.”

Mernitz’s work and motivation showed at the Jan. 18 meet against Zionsville. Although the Irish swim team were defeated, Mernitz won diving with a score of 194.75.

Mernitz’s diving experience has gone well for her first year. She has enjoyed competing and said, “Being with the other Cathedral divers is fun. They provide lots of entertainment and fun, which makes it a fun group to be around.” She also included some goals that she has for both this season and the remainder of her diving carrier at Cathedral.

She said,“My goals are to learn some harder dives, and hopefully make it to State. I will continue to dive and try to improve each year.”