Early success follows Scott on platform

<p>Phil Spiniello, the Knights head coach, noticed Nicole Scott’s improvements during her two-plus seasons diving at Rutgers.</p>

Phil Spiniello, the Knights head coach, noticed Nicole Scott’s improvements during her two-plus seasons diving at Rutgers.

Through her first two years with the Rutgers swimming and diving team, junior diver Nicole Scott had already cemented a place in the program’s record books.

She further entrenched her place in Rutgers history Nov. 18 — the final day of the Frank Elm Invitational — by breaking her own record on the platform dive.

Scott posted a 269.70 score, breaking her own record of 251.95 she set her freshman year.

Head coach Phil Spiniello was excited to see Scott’s performance at this point in the season.

“It was great to see her break her own record this early in the season,” Spiniello said. “Her diving is really coming together.”

But the record was not on Scott’s mind before attempting the platform dive, she said.

“I was just sort of trying to take it one dive at a time,” she said. “I really just wanted to get my whole list off decently, and I did it better than I thought I could.”

The success has not been rare so far this season for Scott, who has yet to finish worse than second in any event. In addition to her record-setting dive at the Frank Elm Invite, Scott also finished second in both the 1- and 3-meter dives.

She also placed second in the 1- and 3-meter dives in the Scarlet Knights’ first dual meet of the season against Wagner. Sophomore teammate Nicole Honey finished first in each of those events.

Scott won both the 1- and 3-meter dives at the Sonny Werblin Invitational, the first event of the season.

Her early-season success, along with practice, left Scott optimistic about the second half of the team’s schedule.

“I’ve been really happy with how I’ve been performing,” she said. “I think I’ve been diving pretty consistently, which I’m happy with. There’s obviously some things I need to work on to improve all my dives, but I think that the training that we’ve been doing is really going to help.”

Spiniello also believes Scott is poised for a huge second half of the season.

“She’s definitely laid the foundation to be successful,” he said. “She’s really taken her diving to another level this year.”

Scott has not laid out specific performance goals for the remainder of the year. She would rather focus on getting better individually, and the results will follow, she said.

“I’d like to keep improving each dive individually — not necessarily on the score as a total, but just to improve on each of my dives — and to just keep diving consistently,” Scott said.

The opportunity to dive collegiately three years ago enticed the Toronto native. There is not much in the way of college diving in Canada, Scott said.

She came to Rutgers ready to compete, and has done so successfully. Spiniello has been impressed with her diving and anticipates the next two years with her on the team.

“Nicole is a very hard worker,” he said. “She is extremely disciplined. Her and [diving] coach [Fred] Woodruff have been working really hard to continue improvement over the past two seasons, and I’m looking forward to that paying off here in her junior and senior year.”

For updates on the Rutgers swimming and diving team, follow Mike Morton on Twitter @MortonTargum.

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