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Jan. 18, 2013

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Sophomore diver JB Kolod (Pittsburgh, Pa.) broke the school record on the 3-meter boards at the Tennessee Diving Invitational earlier this month. He sat down with to talk about that meet, the changes from his first year to his second and more.

You had an impressive Tennessee Diving Invitational earlier this month, breaking the school record on the 3-meter boards. What did you think of your performance?

Kolod: I was really happy with how I dove at that meet, because not only did I do some of my best individual dives so far in my career, but you do a prelim and final list and, even though both my prelim scores were a little bit higher than my final score, my final dives were still some of the best I have ever done. It was really the consistently that I was happy with, the ability to start off strong and keep it up and that was something I did not do so well last year. I’m really happy so far this year because in Georgia and in Tennessee that’s been the case.”

What is the difference your second year compared to your first year?

Kolod: I think the main thing is confidence with my dives. Last year, I had two new dives in my list that I learned and was competing in college for the first time. Having a lot of competition experience under my belt now just gives me a lot of confidence so I can hit my dives in practice and I can hit them in the meet later on.

You qualified for and competed at the U.S. National Diving Championships this past summer. Do you think that experience helped your confidence?

Kolod: I think it did. I didn’t train quite as well for that as I think I could have and I was originally not even planning on going until I qualified on both boards and then I decided to go. I actually took a little bit of time off right before the meet and I think it definitely helped. It’s a lot of the same people I’ll be competing against at ACC’s and, potentially NCAA’s. More big meet experience is always a good thing. I was really happy I went and had a good time so I think it was positive.”

How is it being the oldest male diver on the squad this year with the graduation of Briggy Imbriglia last year and having three freshmen that came into the team?

Kolod: It’s a completely different team vibe from last year. You can tell it’s the same program and everything, but the attitude and the type of training are different. We have twice as many boys on the team and they’re a lot younger. Last year, Briggy was just trying to get consistency with his dives and refine them and this year with the three freshmen, we’re trying to learn new things. I would say it’s more intense, especially with Carl (Buergler) and I. We do a lot of video analysis and stretching and I think that’s helping out a lot.”

How did you get into diving?

Kolod: I did gymnastics for a long time when I was a kid and then my program cut the boys team, so I switched to diving when I was a sophomore in high school. I had a friend who I did gymnastics with who was a really good diver, he goes to Stanford now, and I just enjoyed it a lot and kept up with it through high school and then on to here.

How did you end up at UVa?

Kolod: My recruiting trip here was a great trip and I think the main reason why I chose UVA was because I liked Coach (Rich) MacDonald a lot, Briggy was a great guy and all the guys on the team on my trip were great. It was a place I felt like I fit in and a place I could really see myself diving. I thought I could get a lot better here and that has proven the case so far.”

What is your favorite part of UVa outside of diving?

Kolod: I think my favorite thing is Saturdays before football games when there’s all that excitement. I love going to the Lawn and playing Frisbee with my friends and just hanging out and relaxing when you don’t have anything to do and the atmosphere of excitement before a game. The Lawn and Rotunda are so beautiful, so I think that’s my favorite time at UVa, during the fall with football season.

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