December 17, 2017

Kate Mullin: Diving into Fall

By Andrew Matejka '19, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Kate Mullin '17.

Kate Mullin ‘19, has only just started her second year of diving at the high school but has already rewritten the Wellesley’s record books many times over, and shows no signs of stopping. Mullin’s diving career, however, did not start at the high school, but at gymnastics class a few years ago. “I started out doing gymnastics, but I got hurt 7 years ago so my mom signed me up for diving and I’ve dived ever since,” Mullin said.

Mullin began at her diving career at Boston Area Diving, where she continues to dive when not competing for the high school. As a member of BAD, she has dominated the New England diving scene while also expanding her competitions nationally to dive meets such as the 2015 AAU National Diving Championships at the Riverside Aquatic Complex in Riverside, California where she placed 8th overall on the 1 meter board in 2015.

In addition to her strong club diving career, Mullin arrived in fall of 2015, and quickly made her presence known as a freshman by breaking the school record in her first meet with a score of 259.20, which was a, “a really cool experience” she said. The record continued to fall over and over again as the season progressed. At the end of the season, she was named Runner-Up to the State Champion and BAD teammate, Hannah Phelan ‘16 of Bishop Feehan High School, at the MIAA Girls Swimming and Diving Division 2 State Championships despite breaking the 5 year old meet record.

“It was really surprising,” Mullin said, “Going into the meet as a freshman, nobody thought I really had a chance to beat [Hannah] because she was a senior, but I only ended up losing by 1 and a half points in the end.”

At the conclusion of last year’s excellent season, Mullin debated whether or not to submit video footage of her diving to NISCA, the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, which governs all high school swimming and diving in the United States, in order to be in contention for being named an All-American.

“Since All-American status is only given to the top 100 divers in the country across all 4 grades, I didn’t really think that there would be a point to submitting video, but after debating back and forth, I decided to [submit video] in the end” Mullin said.

Although Mullin doubted that she would be selected, the judges at the NISCA decided that she was a top 100 high school diver in the nation and to her surprise, named her the first NISCA All-American in the high school’s diving history.

Despite all of Mullin’s success last season, she is not resting on her laurels. On Friday, September 23, she broke her own school record again on the 1 meter board, raising it from 298 points to 310 as she surpassed 300 points for the first time in her career in this event.  

Mullin has completed some extremely difficult dives on her way to breaking her own school records multiple times, but she continues to work towards much harder dives as she aims towards becoming the state champion this season as a sophomore.

“It’s really cool to see her constantly working on new and more difficult dives every practice,” said Maeve Mungovan ‘19, Mullin’s teammate and a swimmer on the high school’s combined swim and dive team, “She’s always applying herself in new ways which allows her to continue to improve upon her high school record.”  

Mullin’s coach, Ruth Langton, noticed the great sportsmanship and ability to lead that Mullin has had ever since she walked into her first practice. “She is a great teammate,” Langton said, “she always encourages her peers to push themselves and do their best.”

The impact that Mullin has had on her teammates is evident, as she believes that the high school’s diving team could be the best in the state. They will have plenty of chances to prove it at dual meets throughout October and at Sectionals, hosted by Boston University, on Saturday, November 12, and the State Championships held at Harvard on Sunday, November 20.

“We’re really good,” Mullin said, “We have five members who can all successfully complete six dives which is very impressive at the high school level.”

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