Matthew Brady’s unexpected dive into the state championship

Samantha Klein, Staff Writer

What started as a dare from his swim captain, ended with freshman diver Matthew Brady wildcarding his way into the state championship. 

“One of our team captains, Connor Smith, dared me to try out diving. I originally only wanted to swim for the team, but I ended up loving dive,” Brady said. 

Luckily for Brady, his newly-found passion for diving was supported by an immense amount of talent, which is evident in his freshman year achievements alone. 

“I thought I would just make it to KingCo, and instead I got wildcarded not once, but twice,” Brady said. “I ended up making it all the way to state as a first-year diver. It was pretty unexpected.”

Brady’s case is unique. Only the best of the best make it to the state level for diving, and Brady was the only person on Liberty’s whole swim and dive team to qualify for the event⁠—an impressive feat itself for a freshman. This unanticipated appreciation for diving has transformed Brady’s aquatic career. 

“I’m really happy that I decided to try out diving. I’m even thinking about joining a club team in the summer which would be super cool and exciting,” Brady said. 

Brady’s experience throughout the post-season was something he will cherish forever, though the diving process can be intimidating: all eyes are on the diver as the room fades to silence, allowing for total concentration and easy communication. 

“It’s very nerve-wracking to be in front of all of those people. And honestly, I remember the water being very cold. But overall, going to state was a really fun experience,” Brady said.