Emma Longley teaches others at diving championships
Foran High’s Emma Longley set a school, SCC and Class M record when the senior diver earned her second straight Class M one-meter diving championship with a score of 458.90 at Bulkeley High last Wednesday.
Breaking the state diving record was the furthest thing from Longley’s mind.
The 2016 Class M defending champion with a score of 435.50, she admitted looking at the psych sheets prior to the event and seeing the 1983 mark of 455.30 held by Jennifer Green from Darien.
For a fleeting moment, she thought it would be a good way to go out coming close to that record. However, Longley was much too busy to focus her attention on records during the competition, as she was to intent on mentoring the other divers on the pool deck and helping them to achieve the best scores possible.
“That just speaks volumes about her character and the outstanding person she has become,” said Foran head coach Kristin Skuches. “Aside from being a great athlete, she really is an amazing young lady.
“Winning a state championship is hard enough. But to go out there and win it a second time and break a 34-year record in a the process just goes to show what a phenomenal accomplishment this is.”
Coach Skuches and diving coach Pat Simon have been along for an amazing ride, as Longley a three-time SCC champion (2015-2016-2017) and two-time Class M state champion (2016-2017) has been a mentor to junior divers Claire Koppy (8th in Class M 304.85) and Regan Taylor (17th in Class M 260.80).
“In years past it was all about the numbers,” said Longley. “My mom had been preaching to me all week about enjoying the moment and doing my best. She’s right. This was my last time around in high school and I wanted to enjoy the moment and that’s what I wanted to focus on.”
According to Emma, dad Alan and mom Teresa Longley have been her biggest cheerleaders since the day she was born. “They are also my biggest reality check. They keep everything in perspective.”
“Emma is one of the best athletes and is the best diver I’ve ever encountered in my career,” said Skuches. “She does such a high degree of dives, and that’s what separates her from a lot of other divers.”
Longley has committed to diving for West Virginia University next year. Her training regiment of seven days a week will keep her on track to be the best that she can be as a collegiate athlete.
“My go to dive is the inward one and a half pike,” said Longley. “Most of my workouts are two hours a day. But I do go to Dive Haven at Yale twice a week doing four-hour sessions.
“It may seem a bit unusual that I’m out there helping my competition, but I know a lot of these girls through off season training. One girl I really didn’t know looked kind of new, maybe a sophomore, and she asked if I could help her with a dive.
“She hit six and sevens and I was jumping up and down so happy for her. I try and mentor the other divers on the Foran team. I know they don’t always want to hear what I have to say, but all I want to do is see them succeed.”
Longley still has one more competition to look forward to at the State Open at Middletown on Thursday, Nov. 16th.
“I’m looking forward to my last competition,” Longley said. “I go into it with a whole new perspective. Last year I finished seventh at the State Open and I’m looking forward to doing well.
“As a freshman I finished the SCC in seventh and came back the next year to win it. As a sophomore, I finished seventh at the Class M and came back the following year to win it. I’m hoping that trend holds up and I go from seventh in the Open last year to State Open champion this year.”