Diving meets can be stressful, but Annie Bingle certainly handled the pressure well at the NEPSAC Division 1 Championships.
Consistent in the majority of her 11 dives at the ultra-competitive diving meet, the Greenwich Academy freshman performed well beyond her years in her final event of the season, while keeping her nerves in complete control along the way.
Earning 435.05 points on the 1-meter diving board at Deerfield Academy, Bingle won the NEPSAC Division 1 diving title. Sophomore Sydney Bluestein of Deerfield Academy was the runner-up (431.85), followed by Meera Kasturi of Hotchkiss School (382.80), Monet Meyer (Deerfield Academy, 366.80) and Therese Pelletier (Phillips Andover Academy, 360.50). The NEPSAC diving finals, included 30 competitors.
“The meet started out rocky for me, but I managed to bring it back toward the end,” Bingle said. “I actually didn’t know I won, I thought I got third until they announced that I won. I was very excited and proud that I could do that for my team and it was nice to represent Greenwich Academy.”
Though she’s a freshman, Bingle was familiar with her surroundings at the NEPSAC Championships. As a student at Sacred Heart Greenwich last season, she finished second in the NEPSAC competition as an eighth-grader.
“It was helpful going into this meet knowing almost everybody from last year,” Bingle said. “Last year, I got to see everyone from all different regions, so I knew what to expect this year.”
Championship meets are indeed, nerve-wracking, but Bingle kept her poise.
“I usually listen to music before I dive and try not to get distracted,” she said. “I try to stay calm and remain focused.”
By capturing the first-place medal, Bingle provided 20 points to Greenwich Academy, which proceeded to claim its third straight NEPSAC swimming championship on Sunday at Deerfield Academy.
Greenwich Academy junior Charlotte Duty had a top-15 finish for the squad, placing 13th with a score of 308.25.
Earning high scores with her front 1-and-1-half dive with a full twist, Bingle finished the meet strong en route to her first-place finish.
“The beginning was definitely the most challenging, since everyone was getting used to the pool,” said Bingle, who is coached at GA by diving coach Lindsay Iordache. “But being there last year gave me confidence. I knew almost everybody I was competing against.”
Iordache also coaches Bingle at the YMCA of Greenwich for the Marlins club team, which is also coached by Dylan Korn. She dove at the YMCA from 2011-2013, then took a few years off to test her skills in gymnastics. She returned to the diving board in 2015 and has dedicated plenty of time to the sport since.
“I was getting to the point where I missed diving,” she said. “So I got back into it. I like being involved in a sport that has such a small community across the country.”
Bingle’s first season on Greenwich Academy included a winning effort at the FAA Championships and a third-place finish at the Eastern Interscholastic Championships.
“Being a part of the Greenwich Academy team is a lot of fun, the captains were great and I have so many friends on the team,” Bingle said. “I’m already looking forward to next season.”