Interview by Assistant Sports Editor Zach Thomann
Utica College sophomore diver Matthew Patton has had frequent success for the Pioneer swim and dive team, placing first in the 1-Meter diving event for the last five meets. During his streak, Patton broke his own school record in the 3-meter 6-dive posting a score of 210.97 at Hamilton College.
How have you been so successful?
“I attribute it to the hard work of all the coaches and the support of the team. My diving coach, especially, has put a lot of time and effort into improving me as a diver with tons of research and an eagle eye for what I need to do to make my next dive better than my last.”
What does it mean to you to hold a school record?
“To me, holding a school record means to set a goal, not just for myself, but for any future divers that join the team. Many of my teammates also hold records both as individuals and as teams, and I can still see them striving to improve with every practice and every meet.
“Being able to look up at the record board and say, ‘I did that, I can do it again, this time even better,’ really helps motivate me to keep on track. I will eventually dive my last dive and that record will turn into somebody else’s goal that they look up to and say, ‘That is where I want to be.’ This gives me the comfort of knowing that my success will extend beyond my time as a diver here at Utica.”
How does it feel knowing that there are other athletes on the swim and dive teams who have also seen success?
“It feels amazing to watch my teammates be successful. The team sinks or floats based on how well the individuals in it perform. This makes individual success become team success, and it is exciting to see how successful my teammates have been so far this season.”
Has the team surpassed expectations for this season?
“My expectation is an ongoing one. It is for the team to put forth its best effort and try its absolute hardest every meet. There are still some more meets to come, but I must say that the team has surpassed my expectations every meet so far, and I cannot name a single meet where somebody didn’t do something better than the one before it.”