NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. - New Hartford diver Bella Kolb joined the varsity swimming and diving team in eight grade. Now a sophomore, Kolb has etched her name in Spartans history, breaking the school's pool record with a total score of 276.45 on six dives in a meet against Cicero-North Syracuse on April 13.
"It's still feels really unreal," said Kolb. "Every time I go to practice I look up at the board and I'm like my name is going to be up there, it's weird. I think the first thing that I thought about was 'wow, I just did that,' it was really exciting."
Kolb shattered the previous school mark of 259.60 that has been held since 1986 by Sarah Soggs.
"It means a lot [to break this record]," Kolb said. "There have been a ton of people in the New Hartford swim program. We've had a strong program for many years now and the fact that it was me that did it is unreal."
Bella's final dive that put her over the top was a 403b, an inward 1-1/2 in pike position, that she added to the routine just a day before the meet in order to add to the degree of difficulty for her dives.
"It's a pretty hard dive," said Kolb. "There's a girl I was going against and I kind of wanted to beat her. She ended up breaking her school record too, so it was fun to have both of us break our school records at the same time. But that dive was a 56-point dive overall, which is pretty good."
Kolb, who also plays lacrosse at New Hartford, said that the support from her swim coach, Tara Raux, as well as from both her parents and her Spartans teammates has gotten her through the ups and downs of her diving career thus far. She said that has allowed her to see some of the success that has begun to come her way.
"It was really exciting," she said. "Even though it was something that I did, my whole team celebrated it as a team which felt really good and I feel like it kind of made the COVID season a little better."
Now atop the record books for her school as just a sophomore, Kolb said her next goal is to qualify and compete in the state meet next season, as this year's competition was cancelled due to the pandemic.