Jan. 29, 2013
While senior men's diver Marty Long made his decision to come to Boston College based on academics, he has proven that his skills are not confined to the classroom. The Presidential Scholar set BC records in both the one-meter and three-meter dives in the same meet this year, and is the first BC diver to record 100 wins and 1000 points.
Long was unaware that he set the records until his coach Tom Groden posted his picture on the wall with all the other record winners.
"I like that he recognized me like that," Long said. "He is really good about keeping all the stats and the records, but I never have any idea about the points or the wins."
Long said the records mean a lot to him because he has sacrificed so much and puts a lot of work into diving. Last year, he decided not to study abroad, as many BC juniors do.
"I made the decision to stay with the team, because if I'm going to do something, I want to do it 100 percent," he explained. Long is happy with his decision, and realizes that he might not be a team captain had he chosen otherwise.
The senior's best experience came this year in a dual meet with George Mason and Towson. During the three-meter dive he was very disappointed with his first two attempts.
"After missing the second dive I was sure I was in last place," said Long, "and I was really bummed because I knew it was an important meet and it was coming down to a few points against Towson."
He calmed himself down, nailed his last four dives, and came back to win the event. Long said that he already considered it his best meet ever and later realized the cherry on top was that the win marked the 100th of his career.
Since divers practice separately from the swimmers, Long makes an extra effort to connect with the entire team. Being a captain, he was not sure what kind of influence he would have on the swimmers, but he stays interested with everyone's results, supports his teammates, and attends optional weight lifting sessions to have a physical presence with his teammates.
To show how committed he is to the team, Long volunteered to race the 200 IM when one of his teammates was injured. Recalling the race Long said, "It went horribly, I'm not really a swimmer. I just swim to the side of the pool after my dives. Everyone was cheering and they were so excited, and even though it was a humiliating race, it was a good experience."
Long was not always a diver. He was a gymnast and a swimmer when he was younger, but he felt burnt out from gymnastics and did not enjoy swimming. When he was 10 he decided it was time for something new and tried out for the diving team at his junior high school.
"It was the first time I ever excelled at a sport the first time I tried it," Long said. When he got to high school he started diving year-round, both for his school and club teams.
The adjustment to college diving was difficult for Long at first, and he said that he had to deal with a much bigger time commitment than in high school. Practices, meets, traveling and the new college workload took up a lot of time, but Long has gotten it down to a system. He has been named to the All-ACC Academic Honor Roll in each of his first three years, and received the Athletic Director's Award for Academic Achievement his freshman year.
"I prefer to stay busy, I am best when I am busy," Long said.
If being busy leads to success, his teammates will be happy to know that Long will be spending plenty of time working on his senior thesis in his final semester of his fantastic college career.
Written by senior Brendan Doyle