BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) — Running and diving, the combination might as well be called land versus water because on the surface the sports couldn’t be more different.
“I like how anyone can be a runner, you don’t need all that much. You just need shoes and clothes and you can go out and run,” said Nora McUmber. McUmber, now a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Montgomery County, started running for the Barons her freshman year. With support from her parents and coaches, she has become a standout athlete in both cross country and track.
Her fellow senior, Jack Crow, got hooked on diving when he was just six or seven years old after some friendly sibling rivalry with his brother motivated him to pursue the sport.
“In diving, you only have about 20 seconds to show how good you are, to show the judges what you can do,” said Crow.
So what do two athletes on such opposite platforms have in common? Multiple individual state titles.
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McUmber has one Maryland state title in cross country, two in outdoor track and one in indoor track
“Finally, when you get the recognition … it’s just so satisfying to reach that goal,” said McUmber.
Crow holds back-to-back state titles in diving.
“There’s less forgiving in this sport,” said Crow. “So you have to make sure everything is good, not just one or two things.”
For these Maryland State champs, the racing blocks and the diving board aren’t really worlds apart. They’re both team sports fueled by individual effort.
“When the dive team gets back up on the board, the whole BCC swim team lines up … it’s just really nice to see it’s kind of family,” said Crow.
McUmber said she has the same experience at track events.
“It’s really the team that pushes you to keep going because you do it for them. You’re running for a bunch of people really. That helps to motivate me,” said McUmber.
The focus and discipline both student-athletes have to succeed in the individual zone propelled them to the collegiate level.
Crow will dive at Penn State next year and McUmber plans to run for Towson.