Tyler Nock made huge strides last year in high school diving. The Avon Lake diver earned All-Ohio Division I honors by finishing in the top 16 at the 2013 state meet in Canton.
Nock scored 415.70 points in the 11-dive competition to finish 11th in his state meet debut. He is the third Avon Lake boy to earn all-state honors for diving since 2003.
Naturally, the Avon Lake senior has a goal and game plan in mind for his final hurrah as a high school diver.
“This year I’m hoping to finish in the top eight,” Nock said. “I want to make it onto the podium.”
Last year, the first three dives of the day set the tone — a front 1½ pike, front 2½ tuck and inward double summersault tuck.
“I hit my first three dives very well,” Nock said. “That set me up for the rest of my dive list. I was in seventh or eighth place for most of the meet until my harder dives in the end, when I slipped down a little.”
Nock has been busy upgrading his dive list since the end of last season because he well understands that nothing’s a given in high school diving.
“I’m adding a gainer half, 1½ twist,” he said. “I’m also working on a gainer 2½ tuck. I’ll probably replace my inward 1½ and gainer 2½.”
Nock has a new dive coach this year in Denny Dyke, who replaces Chris Dalman, who moved to California. Actually, Dyke is a familiar face. He first coached Nock when the Avon Lake athlete picked up the sport seven years ago.
“I’ve been staying busy with training and conditioning every day,” said Nock, who is considering Ball State for college. “I’m trying to get more bend out of the board in order to get more height so I can complete my dives easier.
“Right now my focus is on getting my dives in and good getting scores with them.”
Nock barely missed a state berth his sophomore year. He was 12th at the CSU district, missing by one place and less than nine points.
“In club season you do trampoline work and work on the dryboard — like with the ropes,” said Nock, a member of the Cleveland Area Diving club team. “It helps me out with my dives in the water, especially the new ones I’m learning.”
Nock had a second-place finish at the 2013 Bowling Green State University district, notching a score of 424.65 points for the 11-dive meet. Only Toledo St. John junior Mitchell Layman was better (452.25).
“Tyler’s made some big gains this year,” Avon Lake coach Dan Smith said. “He’s put on about 10 pounds of muscle. He’s really been working out. Tyler pole vaulted in the spring for the first time and really gained some of the strength he needed. For his first year competing (in pole vault) he did well.
“He seemed to get over the edge where some athletes are a little bottom-heavy as kids. He’s starting to balance out with upper-body muscle. It’s all dependent on how he puts it together, but he’s mentally very strong.”