By Ryan Kaczmarski
Usually, with a freshman competing for the first time in a collegiate setting, it takes some time for adjustment, feeling out the new teammates and the competition, and figuring out what one’s place will be among the new pecking order.
Well, Fairview Park native Alice Clark wasted no time with all of that stuff. She not only competed in her first season of diving at Baldwin Wallace University, earning her first varsity letter, but she won both the 1- and 3-meter women’s diving events at the Ohio Athletic Conference championships, earning her OAC Diver of the Year award.
“Our conference isn’t incredibly competitive in diving, so I could have done even better than I did,” Clark said. “But I’m happy, but also looking to improving for next year.
“I’m not saying the Division III divers are less skilled or anything like that. There are just fewer of us competing at the meets.”
As a freshman in the 2013-2014 season, she also earned All-OAC honors in the 1- and 3-meter events. She had season-best scores in the 1-meter event of 292.15 point (six dives) and 420.20 points (11 dives). She also had season-bests in the 3-meter event of 248.40 points (six dives) and 428.40 points (11 dives).
Clark has made all of these accomplishments after having a stellar high school career at Fairview High School. She dove for the Warriors all four years of high school and earned three varsity letters, was a three-year team MVP, a three-time state qualifier in Division II, the district champion in 2012 and she earned the Athlete of the Year award.
After high school, Clark really had no intention of trying to dive at a Division I or II school, and BW seemed like the only fit.
“If I was going to dive, I was going to dive for Baldwin Wallace,” she explained. “I’ve known the coach (Tim Croy) here for so long, and he kept asking me, ‘Are you going to Baldwin Wallace or what?’”
Clark took the transition in the classroom in stride also, and has been able to keep up with her classwork as a Philosophy major.
“I’m only a freshman, and I’m sure its going to get more difficult, but during this season, it was not very much of a challenge to keep up with everything,” she said.
Clark plans on working on strength and conditioning now that her season is over, and building up her body to improve for next year.
“I’ve just been practicing harder all around and trying to be more committed to the sport,” she stated. “Baldwin Wallace has great facilities, and I’m getting into the habit of utilizing them more regularly.”