Natalie Brown Is Climbing The Dive Ladder To Success
South Mecklenburg High School junior diver Natalie Brown has found quick success in less than three years as a competitive diver. The daughter of Patrick and Linda Brown has taken her gymnastics experience and turned it into success in a different sport. In her first two years, Natalie has found success locally, regionally and on a national stage. Where it takes her, no one knows for sure, but the climb up the ladder has certainly gotten off to a great start.
Natalie has found the most success springboard diving.
“I am best at springboard diving because it allows me to manipulate the surface I’m on and get extra height/bounce for my dives. I have trained some platform (5, 7, and 10-meter) before and like that type of diving as well, but springboard is best for me.”
Natalie has made it to her National competition the last two years and was named as an All-American on both the 1 and 3 meter springboard for top 12 finishes. She has also qualified for the state championship both years and is ready for year three this winter.
As we mentioned diving wasn’t her original choice for a sport to find success in. Gymnastics and then cheerleading have been the sports of choice for Natalie leading up to high school.
“My background is definitely one involving a lot of gymnastics- I trained on the Harris Y’s competitive team for roughly 8 years, and made it up to Level 8 throughout that time. During my childhood I also was a soccer player, swimmer, and softball player- I loved all of the sports I did! I started diving my freshman year because of a recommendation from one of my friend’s moms- I had no idea what it was, but she said to give it a try because I was a gymnast!”
Natalie gave it a try and with the help of CMS Diving Instructor Roy Botsko, she began to learn the basics needed to dive. As a freshman, she finished 8th in the state championship.
“After states, I competed one last time for my gymnastics team and then decided that it was time I moved on- I was constantly getting injured and changes in coaching at my gym helped me make the decision to leave. I then joined Carolina Diving Academy (CDA), which is a year-round club team that trains up at Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics Center. This is where I broadened my experience with diving beyond high school competitions and 1-meter springboard.”
In addition to diving, Natalie has also been a cheerleader for Carmel Middle and South Meck since seventh grade. She relied on her gymnastics background to get her started in the sport.
“Gymnastics and cheerleading have both helped with my success in diving because I’ve been doing flips and tumbling from an early age. Though diving and gymnastics are drastically different in many aspects, it helps a lot to be comfortable with the feeling of flipping in the air, and to have a certain spatial awareness. Diving would be a lot harder if I didn’t know how to spot where I am in the air, and be able to control, twist, and adjust my body to get to vertical or wherever I need to be in the dive.”
Natalie is also an All-American in the classroom with a 5.0 grade point average. After this year, she will have completed six AP courses and plans to take four more in her senior year. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) clubs, as well as the Charlotte Area Health Center Health Career Education-Reaching Out to Excellent Students (AHEC-HEROES) organization,
Natalie has also volunteered at local hospitals every summer since freshman year.
“I’ve had lots of different positions, including assisting with a nursing unit and working in the sterile processing department with surgical tools. I am also a Girl Scout at the Ambassador rank, and am currently working on my Gold Award Project, which is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. This project has a 100-hour minimum requirement, and must involve the community and be sustainable beyond my efforts. I plan to be finished with everything for my project by this coming summer.”
The South Charlotte Sports Report salutes Natalie for all her amazing accomplishments inside and out of the classroom. We wish her the very best in her pursuit of diving excellence and academic success. Keep climbing the ladder to reach all of your dreams Natalie.