Q&A with Briggy Imbriglia
Senior diver Briggy Imbriglia and the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams host NC State Saturday in the final dual meet of the season. Diving events begin at 9:30 a.m. and Imbriglia and his six other classmates will be honored at approximately 10:45 a.m. prior to the meet to celebrate senior day. Imbriglia, a native of Springfield, Va., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the season, the diving program, his favorite event and his major.
Question: How would you describe the season thus far?
Imbriglia: The year started out great because I wasn’t injured like last year. It just helped everything go smoothly. But I think last year when I was hurt, it made me kind of take a step back and reevaluate my mentality, especially for meets. That more relaxed, confident feel carried over to this year. I know I can nail my dives. JB (Kolod) is great. He is such a little hairball. We train great together. We don’t do the same dives, which I think helps. We can evaluate each other. We really feed off each other, especially in meets.
Question: Do you embrace your role as a team leader?
Imbriglia: Absolutely. That is my favorite role as a member of this team, even with the girls, because they are really young. It helps me because I am able to step aside and be two different people. It helps me balance.
Question: You guys have had some early success this year, stepping up in some big meets.
Imbriglia: It’s been great. It’s been a long time coming, definitely. It’s great for Rich (MacDonald) and the program. We have been able to step up when we needed. It really stems from all of the training; I’ve never trained like this before. I know I can hit all my dives for eights. The ability to do every single dive for a very good score gives you a certain confidence. I can’t wait to dive in meets and I’ve never had that feeling before.
Question: What kinds of things does third-year coach Rich MacDonald bring to the program?
Imbriglia: First off, it’s relaxed. We are intense when we need to be, but it’s just really fun. It’s like having one of your best friends coaching you. I am so lucky that he has stepped in. It’s like all these great things mixed together; you get a nice blend of Rich as a coach, Rich as a friend, Rich as a mentor. I think everyone has really embraced all of Rich’s roles. He has made us more complete divers and more complete people.
Question: What is your favorite event?
Imbriglia: My favorite to compete in is probably the 1-meter. You can kind of only mess up so much. So that is my favorite from a dual meet standpoint. But at ACCs, I definitely love the platform. The dives that I do aren’t very hard but they are high up. The feeling of flipping so many times – it’s pure power up there. You hit the water so hard and it’s such a good feeling. So many people are either springboard divers or tower divers and I’m lucky enough to have a good mix of both.
Question: How did you end up at UVa?
Imbriglia: First off, it’s in-state, so it’s close to home. But it really had the complete package. UVa is the best mix of everything. I was also good friends with (former UVa diver) Nathan Parker, who was an influence on my decision.
Question: What is your major?
Imbriglia: I am an economics major. I don’t have a concentration and I like that because it’s so broad that it allows me to take finance and experimental economics classes. There is going to be plenty of time for accounting. I really wanted to embrace the interesting and broad classes while I could. I would like to get started in consulting or analysis in the business world, mainly, because I have no idea what I want to do long-term. If I like it, I will go back to grad school. If I don’t, I will figure out something else!
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Imbriglia: I would say social psychology in terms of material because it made you think like you never had before. I also really liked my international trade and theory class. It was so demanding and so hard and I understood most things three weeks after they were taught. But it was the most rewarding.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Imbriglia: I love to play raquetball. Every time Nathan comes to UVa, we play. It’s a good outlet. When it’s nice outside we play Frisbee golf. I have a dog that was here over winter break and every morning we went to the Lawn. I like watching movies and just enjoy relaxing.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Imbriglia: I actually really like the area between the Lawn and the Corner; the grassy area by Brooks Hall. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lawn. But there you can see the Rotunda and all the people on the Corner, even some of the med school. It’s such a diverse crowd.