From their Northern Kentucky high schools to the biggest NCAA stage, a trio of local divers continue to make their programs and coaches proud at the next level.
Carly Scheper (Notre Dame), Justin Youtsey (Beechwood), and Logan Stevens (Scott), each earned their first trip to the NCAA Division I national championships in March. Stevens competes for Virginia Tech, while Scheper and Youtsey both compete for Auburn.
“It has been very exciting to watch the Northern Kentucky divers continue their success as college divers,” said Alyson Heger, who coached both Youtsey and Stevens in high school. “Northern Kentucky has a great tradition of strong divers and it is not at all surprising to see Carly, Logan, and Justin continue to achieve success at the Division I level in college. It has been fun to catch up with them when they are home for short breaks and to see and hear the excitement in their faces and voices as they describe their year so far in college.”
Scheper, an Auburn junior, placed 34th in the platform dive at the women’s championship meet in Greensboro, N.C. Youtsey, also an Auburn junior, placed 26th in the one-meter, 31st in the three-meter, and 40th in the platform dive in the men’s championship meet at the University of Iowa. Stevens, a junior at Virginia Tech, placed 27th in the platform, 36th in the three-meter, and 43rd in the one-meter.
In high school, they competed only in the one-meter. The college competition has allowed theses divers to show off their full arsenal of skills. Stevens earned the silver medal in the three-meter at this year’s ACC championship.
“I wasn’t at all surprised with the success Logan and Justin have achieved in college,” said Heger. “They were just beginning to see their potential as they were finishing up diving in high school and were excited about their futures. Justin and Logan are the type of people who will be successful no matter what they do.”
All three divers were teammates on the club team in Oxford, Redhawk Elite Diving Academy, when they were in high school. When they return home during holidays, the current crop of Northern Kentucky divers pick their brains for tips on diving and the overall college experience.
“The high school divers still talk about when they would watch Justin and Logan diving in high school and ask what they need to do to be able to dive like them,” said Heger. “Justin and Logan have been great role models for the younger divers and still maintain that role as they discuss their college experience with the high school divers and the recruiting process with the seniors. They continue to inspire the high school divers which is great to see.”
Throughout their high school and club competition, these three separated themselves through their work ethic and dedication. After completing three college seasons, those strengths have not changed. In fact, the divers have become even more disciplined, balancing the highest level of college competition with academics.
“In high school, their greatest strengths were their work ethic. They would constantly push themselves further each practice and enjoyed staying in the difficult, slightly uncomfortable zone until that became manageable, and then they would push themselves further again,” said Heger. “Their enjoyment in continuously challenging themselves have allowed them to increase the difficulty of their dives and to be able to be competitive in all three events as Division I divers.”