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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Zack Lee dives to success

Zack Lee set two school records this year. One for 322.5 points in six dives and the other for 522.8 points for 12 dives.

Years of hard work and commitment are evident as junior Zack Lee bounces off the diving board and flies through the air with precision, making a small splash as his feet sink into the pool.

Lee has been on the Boys Varsity Swim and Dive (BVSD) team since his freshman year. He has swam since he was eight and started diving when he was 12.

From sophomore to junior year, Lee has progressed in swimming and diving. This year, he has swam in multiple relays and swam the 50 freestyle. Lee set a school record with 322.5 points for six dives and 522.8 points for 12 dives. This season, he also placed second in diving at the MIAA Boys State Division 1 Championships.

BVSD head coach Robin Ross said Lee’s dedication to the sport has been key to his growth from sophomore year.

“He has chosen to work on a higher degree of difficulty dives, and that shows that he has the desire and dedication to be even better,” Ross said. “He’s just a great kid all around. But he’s taken off this year in diving.”

Lee mainly focuses on diving, but he also competes in relays when he is needed, and he made sectionals for swimming this season. According to senior Andy Yoo, Lee makes sure to swim during every practice to help the team.

“He also helps out with the swimming because he has swimming experience, so he takes the supportive swimmer role whenever the younger people on our team are struggling,” Yoo said.

According to Lee, the team has good camaraderie. He encourages his teammates during practice and motivates them at meets.

“We all always try to cheer for each other when we’re swimming events. We all stand on the other side of the pool. In practice, we push each other, and we cheer for each other in meets,” Lee said.

Along with his teammates, Lee finds motivation from his older brother, who is also a diver.

“I started diving because my older brother started diving and at the time I just wanted to do it because he was doing it,” Lee said. “I’m motivated by personal goals I set for myself, my teammates and my brother.”

Lee said the mentality of diving is a challenge, and he attributes his success to staying relaxed and focused.

“Diving is a really mental sport, so if you lose focus, you can mess up a dive, but you just have to think about the next dive and forget about it,” Lee said. “I achieved [the record] just by being in the right mindset and staying relaxed and not getting too nervous.”

According to Yoo, Lee’s positive attitude and supportiveness help unify the team and are why he is so well-liked in the community.

“He’s really friendly. I feel like he’s one of the few main people that bring the community together,” Yoo said.

Ross said Lee’s commitment and dedication contribute to his success and inspire others to work harder.

“Zack doesn’t goof around a lot and he just gets right to work, and I think showing some of the younger kids, like the freshmen and sophomores, the dedication that he has and the desire that he has to be a better teammate, diver, and swimmer is only going to teach the younger kids how to move up and how to work hard,” Ross said.

Ross said despite Lee’s loss to Needham at the State Championships, he maintains a positive mindset and strives to improve.

“Even though the Needham diver beats him at sectionals and states,” Ross said. “Zack has said it’s only making him a better diver because he wants to be able to beat him, which he did at our dual meet.”

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