It’s been tough to top Mady Schmidt on the diving board this season.
The Bemidji High School junior has gone 8-for-8 this season for the Lumberjack girls swimming and diving team. That’s eight first-place scores in eight meets.
“I couldn’t imagine my season could go any better than it is right now,” Schmidt said. “I’m just grateful that I’ve had such a successful season this year.”
She began the year with the goal of achieving a new personal record. That’s been a piece of cake.
Half of the time Schmidt hits the pool, a personal record falls. She’s set four PR scores alone this year, most recently pushing her top mark to 242.8 in a dual meet at Fergus Falls on Sept. 24.
“It’s great because I’ve broken my own personal record four times this season,” Schmidt said. “My current PR is 242.8. I was thrilled when I heard that score. Each time that I did achieve one of those personal records I was just very proud of myself and very happy with the results.”
BHS diving coach Sam Howard has seen Schmidt improve over the three years he’s coached her.
“She’s just an all-around very easily coached athlete,” he said. “It’s really, really fun as a coach to see athletes like that. It makes my job more fun, and to see her improve makes it more enjoyable too.”
Schmidt has fine-tuned the moves in her repertoire, which has resulted in the scores she’s putting up. That’s helped with the degree of difficulty, or D.D., she has displayed with all of the twists and turns she makes off the board.
“This year, because of where she’s at and the dives she’s able to do, she has a lot more D.D. than most other divers in the section,” Howard said. “Just that point right there, she has a lot more chances to score higher than anybody else.”
“Every week I’ve just gone out and surprised myself basically,” Schmidt said. “I just told myself that I want to improve every week and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Unsurprisingly, Schmidt has received interest from NCAA Division I and II programs in the Midwest.
“I’m very excited for my future collegiate career, wherever I may go,” she said.
There’s still plenty of time remaining in her junior season. Schmidt had hoped to return to the Class A state meet for the second year in a row and improve on her ninth-place outing from 2019. Due to the pandemic, the Minnesota State High School League voted Thursday to not hold fall post-section competition.
“I think it would be very disappointing if there wasn’t a state meet,” Schmidt said Wednesday. “It’s kind of something that you want to work towards start to finish in your season, and getting that reward really just proves how far you’ve gone and how much improvement that you’ve made over the whole season.”
Schmidt will at least get a crack at a section title when Bemidji hosts the Section 8A diving meet Oct. 22. Had there been a state meet, Schmidt and Howard agreed she would’ve had top-five potential.
“I am very confident that I could definitely finish within the top 10 again this year,” Schmidt said. “If not, possibly the top five even. I feel great about how this season has been going so far.”
Schmidt and the Lumberjacks have two duals remaining before the regular season wraps. They’ll travel to Rocori on Thursday, Oct. 1, and St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday, Oct. 6.