Maura Sticco-Ivins ’18 Dives into Wellesley Sports History
Wellesley congratulates Maura Sticco-Ivins ’18, who scored 500.35 to win the Women’s 3-meter Diving Finals last Wednesday at the 2015 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. (See her post-win interview.) Sticco-Ivins is only the third Wellesley athlete to win an individual title at an NCAA National Championship.
Two days later, Sticco-Ivins earned second place in the Women’s 1-meter Diving Final. She finished the year as an All-American on both the 1- and 3-meter boards, amazing accomplishments for a rookie season.
And what an amazing season it has been.
On November 1, in her first collegiate meet, Sticco-Ivins took first place with a score of 281.70 in the 1-meter competition at the New England Invitational, the best performance by a 40-point margin.
After that impressive splash, she dove from one success to another, setting new Wellesley school records for the 1-meter (six dives) with a score of 332.64, the 1-meter (11 dives) with a score of 515.50, and the 3-meter (six dives) with a score of 329.10. (The only school record she hasn’t broken is Tjede Merlini ’93’s score of 521.90 in the 3-meter (11 dives), which has stood since 1993.)
Sticco-Ivins earned accolades outside of Wellesley, too. At the Seven Sisters Championship, she set a meet record in the 3-meter dive with a score of 512.80, breaking the previous record of 511.45 set in 2008. She also won the 1-meter competition, helping Wellesley to its 18th straight Seven Sisters title.
As the season continued, so did her achievements. She won the 1- and 3-meter championships at the 2015 NCAA Regional Championships and the 2015 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships on both boards this season. She was named NEWMAC Diver of the Week seven times and later named the 2015 NEWMAC Women’s Diver of the Year. In dual-meet competition, she took first place 10 times and placed second twice.
By late January, when Sticco-Ivins gave an interview to the MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Mass., she seemed bound for greater glory and pleased with what she’d accomplished so far. “Honestly, the season has gone way better than I could have expected,” she said. “I feel like all the goals I have this year, I’m knocking them down as we’re going through, and I’m really excited about that.”
Zach Lichter, assistant diving coach for the Blue, echoed those comments and praised her ability to perform under pressure. “She’s really a meet diver,” he told the paper. “I think some divers don’t really shine there, but as far as I’m concerned, when she gets out there and competes, she really does a terrific job.”
When asked why she thought she’d been so successful, Sticco-Ivins credited the discipline and training she’d received as a high school athlete under coach Mike Foley, who’s made Framingham the premier program in the Bay State Conference for years. Foley prepared her well for high-level competition and for the rigors of Wellesley, she said.
Now, with an amazing first season behind her, Sticco-Ivins’ future looks limitless, and a quote she gave the MetroWest Daily News takes on greater meaning. “I really want to see how far my diving can take me,” she said. “And I really want to see how far my limit is…. I’m so proud of myself, but there are obviously many other goals further down the road.”