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Junior diver smashes two-decade-old record

Courtesy of GW Athletics
After an injury caused Doak to leave behind her gymnastics career, she said she incorporated much of what she had previously learned in her diving.

Junior diver Jamie Doak set a pair of program records last month, smashing a two-decade-old record held by an alumna.

Doak set a new record on the one-meter board with a score of 279.23, smashing the previous record set by alumna Lynne McCormick in 2001, while also landing the five-dive platform record score of 210.60 against Pittsburgh. Doak placed third in the one-meter and the three-meter and finished sixth on platform in addition to meeting the NCAA Zones qualifying standard on the one-meter for the second time this season.

“It was really exciting,” Doak said. “I wasn’t expecting it, and we actually didn’t think I broke the record until later that night, which was fun, because I knew I’d broken the tower record, but the one meter record just seemed out of reach for a while until Friday.”

Doak became a diver after an injury led her to leave gymnastics her freshman year of high school. She was drawn to diving because she knew another gymnast who had made the switch to the aquatic sport.

She said much of what she had learned from gymnastics translated to diving.

“I have a lot of the skills that came with it, just being able to work through your fears and the actual flipping and twisting that you have to do,” Doak said. “But diving has brought a whole new perspective of it all, because there’s a little less impact on injury – I’m not gonna die if I mess up, where in gymnastics, you will.”

Doak said the sport has helped her mature as a person and learn to “take everything as it goes.”

“There’s always things that are changing so you have to be able to adapt,” Doak said. “I think that’s really helped me with that and becoming a little less type A and needing to know everything, have a perfect schedule that’s going to work out how I want it to be.”

After returning from an ACL injury she incurred in her freshman year, Doak made her GW debut last season at the A-10 Championships, nabbing a bronze medal on the three-meter board, posting a score of 282.40 that helped the women’s squad finish in fourth place. She also qualified for the A final on the one meter before placing eighth with a score of 241.80.

Head diving coach Christopher Lane said he has been working with Doak on maintaining consistency in hurdles and takeoffs as the season progresses. He said the team is looking to contend for the A-10 conference title but is also hoping to get Doak to the NCAA tournament this year.

“It’s still the beginning of the season,” Lane said. “And I think that the trajectory that we’re on, I would expect that we will probably be breaking this record several times. I think that this is probably just the first of many records that will come, that will be broken this year.”

Lane, who was a volunteer assistant for two years prior to his head coaching position, said he is excited for the remainder of the season because he hadn’t had the chance to watch Jamie dive until this season. He said maintaining her health has been a “huge factor” in determining her success moving forward and is impressed with the work they’ve done together up to this point.

“This is the first record to go down,” Lane said. “But we have our eyes set on all the rest of those records and making sure that Jamie’s name stays up on that board for years to come.”

Doak will look to set even more records when the Colonials hit the pool once again at the NC State/GAC Invitational beginning Nov. 18.

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