Student wins medal at international diving competition

The Newtonite

by Samantha Libraty

Sophomore Gracia Leydon-Mahoney recently competed in two national and international diving competitions.

Leydon-Mahoney competed in the U.S.A. Senior Diving Nationals in August where she received a silver medal for the 10-meter platform competition. She was one of the youngest competitors there.

Earlier this month, she competed in Medellin, Colombia at the Pan-American Junior Diving Championships where she won a gold medal in the 14- and 15-year-old 3-meter competition, Leydon-Mahoney said.

“I had to miss the first five days of school while I was in Colombia. It was hard to catch up, but my teachers are very supportive and understanding,” she said.

Leydon-Mahoney practices three hours a day, six days a week at Concord High School’s diving well with her coach, Tracey Bird.

She competes in a few events, including the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard and the 7-meter and 10-meter platform, Leydon-Mahoney said.

“To practice my platform diving, I have to go to Duke University’s pool because there is no 10-meter platform in New England,” she added.

She will travel to the University of Tennessee to compete in the U.S.A. Diving Senior Winter Nationals competition in December. Leydon-Mahoney will also be going to the U.S.A. Diving Olympic Trials held in Seattle, Washington in June 2012.

Since she travels often for diving competitions, Leydon-Mahoney has to juggle school work, socializing with her friends and focusing on upcoming competitions. She said, “I hang out with my friends on the weekends, and I do my homework in any spare moment. I also usually bring my work with me when I travel for competitions.”

Leydon-Mahoney said that her friends are very supportive of her diving. “They are always cheering me on and telling everyone about my wins,” she added.

“I strive to do well at all of my competitions, but my main goal is to do my best,” Leydon-Mahoney concluded.