Sophomore breaks diving records
Sophomore diver Ben Mitchell has broken two records in just as many meets this season, one he previously set last year and one that has stood since 2006.
Mitchell said that breaking records was definitely a goal of his coming into the season, especially these two he has already taken, which were on the one-meter and three-meter boards.
Seton Hall swimming and diving opened their season at home against Montclair State, where Mitchell once again posted the highest one-meter score in Pirates’ history.
“Ben has come back with a lot more confidence this year,” head coach Ron Farina said. “When you step up on that board it is really about confidence, and when he gets up there he knows he is capable of throwing his best dive.”
Mitchell actually beat his original record twice in one day, posting a 317.25 in his first attempt and outdoing himself a second time by putting up a 322.88.
He had originally set this record in only his fourth collegiate meet with a score of 287.25.
“I am a lot stronger this season and am throwing harder dives more consistently,” Mitchell said.
His new record score is the highest six-dive score ever posted by a Pirate diver, regardless of distance or gender.
“We are in really good hands; Ben is only going to get better,” Farina said. “Bringing in quality swimmers and people is what we try to do, and it has been a recipe for success over the last few years.”
Improving his record by more than 30 points automatically qualified him for the Big East Championships and the NCAA Zone Diving Championships for the second year in a row.
Qualifying early this year, Mitchell said, has taken a lot of pressure off of him.
“I just want to do as best as I can for the rest of the season so I can place higher in the Big East this year and do as well as I can in the NCAA,” Mitchell said.
At the team’s second meet of the season against Rider University, Mitchell earned his second Seton Hall record from the three-meter board scoring a 285.45.
This successful week saw Mitchell named the SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week for the first time in his career.
Mitchell followed up his record-breaking week at the Loyola Quad Meet by grabbing another individual first-place victory. The winning performance came from the one-meter board, where he posted a score of 294.40. He also took second-place points in the meet in the three-meter dive with a score of 277.30.
“I think when you see someone throwing as many dives as he is, and when you see all the improvement in him, it gives the team confidence that we will be solid in his two events,” Farina said.
Due to the postponement of the Iona Tournament, Mitchell and the swimming and diving team will return to the pool against Providence College at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Richie Regan Recreation Center.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at Stephanie.Vedral@student.shu.edu.