Feng makes a splash at Nationals
By Caroline Buck, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, August 19, 2011
Katy Feng ’14 won the 1-meter competition and the 3-meter competition in the 19-and-over division at the Amateur Athletic Union Diving National Championship in Riverside, Calif., on July 24, scoring 353.50 and 379 points, respectively. Feng also placed second in the 3-meter and fourth in the 1-meter synchronized diving competitions.
Feng has previously found success at this level of competition — she also won the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions in the 18-and-over division over the summer before she came to Dartmouth in 2010.
“Walking away with any national championship title is prestigious, but doing it two years in a row with a different age group each year is very impressive,” head diving coach Christopher Hamilton said. “I believe last year was more difficult for her, but she is a very competitive person and works very hard to be the best diver she can be.”
This past season, Feng took fourth in the 3-meter event and seventh in the 1-meter diving competition at Princeton University for the Ivy League Championship.
“I think she will do much better than she did last year,” Hamilton said. “She works very hard in practice and expects to do well in every meet.”
Hamilton said the team can “do some damage” within and beyond the Ivy League this season, especially with returning Ivy League champion and women’s team captain Erica Serpico ’12.
“It is great having four or five girls who can make each other better every day in practice,” Hamilton said. “As a coach, I am very blessed [to have] these girls together for the next couple of years.”
With a strong freshman season and a year of college competition under her belt, Feng’s greatest strength and weakness both lie in her tendency to strive for perfection, Hamilton said. Feng occasionally dwells on dives that are unsuccessful, but her mental game is improving, he said.
“She started to get better with going on when a dive doesn’t feel right late in the season last year, and I think it helped her a great deal,” Hamilton said. “Some days you have it, some days you don’t.”
Hamilton believes that Feng is capable of winning multiple Ivy League Championships as well as making the NCAA National Championships, which would require performing dives with a high degree of difficulty.
Kendall MacRae ’15 competed in the 18-and-over division, finishing fourth in the 3-meter and ninth in the 1-meter event. In the 16-to-19 age division, MacRae finished second in the 3-meter and sixth in the 1-meter synchronized diving events.
Hamilton said that MacRae is a “beautiful diver” and that he is looking forward to her arrival on campus this fall, as well as helping her advance to highly difficult dives.
Hamilton said that overall, the team is the biggest and strongest that he has had in his 12 years as coach on both the men’s and women’s side, with captains Chris Plante ’12 and Serpico leading the way.
“The great thing is they are all very good friends and enjoy practicing and competing against each other during meets,” Hamilton said. “With a team like this, I only have to worry about coaching, not being a peacemaker or a referee.”
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will have their first competition of the fall season on Nov. 12 at Harvard University.
Feng was unavailable for comment by press time.