Two years of hard work paid off for Wimberley High senior diver Mariel Mayhew at the Joe Jamail Swim Center in Austin Saturday.
After entering the sport during her sophomore year, Mayhew finally got the chance to compete in the UIL Class 5A state girls 1-meter diving championships.
While Mayhew finished in the top half of a competitive field, the chance to share the moment with her brother, Evan, who competed in the 5A boys 1-meter diving state championship, meant just a little bit more.
“It’s great to make it my senior year and make it to state,” Mariel Mayhew said. “And having my brother here as well, that’s been fun.”
For sophomore Evan Mayhew, who made his second straight appearance in as many years at the state meet, getting to state validated the “practice and late nights” the two put in.
Mariel Mayhew’s path toward the state meet began two years ago. Prior to committing to diving, Mariel Mayhew participated in gymnastics.
With her background, Mariel realized there were several parallels when it came to diving and gymnastics from a physical standpoint.
“(Gymnastics) helped some, but it’s definitely different than gymnastics,” Mariel said. “The twists are different than in gymnastics, but it does help with rotations and knowing when to kick out.”
But Mariel had to adhere to the mental component of diving, which is the challenging aspect of the sport.
She said while a diver may have the skill necessary to succeed, it “takes the right mindset” to excel.
“It’s really the mindset and it’s all mental when it comes to diving,” Mariel said.
Evan, who began his path in diving last year as a freshman in high school, said he was trying to dive clean.
After gathering experience, which included his first trip to state, Evan said he started bumping up the degree of difficulty in his dives.
Regularly communicating with each other also provided a level of support during the season.
“It’s nice to have someone that knows the sport and can do the dives and help you,” Mariel said. “It’s nice to have someone there who knows what they’re talking about.”
Having fun, while keeping each other calm during meets and practices is what Evan and Mariel have experienced.
That extends to their training, which is done at Trinity University in San Antonio, where they train two to three hours per day. The two also attend a week-long summer camp that helps them improve.
But Mariel’s final dive at the state meet could be, in fact, the last dive of her career.
She isn’t looking to extend her career beyond high school. Evan, who will vie for a third straight trip to state next year, is considering the possibility of diving in college.
The chance to dive on the biggest of stages against competitors she’s familiar with was meaningful.
“Through the years, we get to know each other. It’s incredible to be here my senior year,” Mariel said. “I didn’t think it was a possibility.”