Plymouth’s Tesky got her feet wet, and then some

by Dave Boehler
Review Sports Editor

DANIELLE TESKY DANIELLE TESKY Remember the first time you tried to dive into a pool?

Two years ago, Plymouth’s Danielle Tesky had zero experience – she was never even on the swim team – when she climbed atop the diving board.

“It was pretty terrifying,” the senior said. “I cried on the board my first day. It was really hard and I smacked a lot, like hitting the water. It took a lot of trial and error. But then I finally started to get into it and figure out how to do all my dives.”

To the tune of taking sixth place at the Division 1 state meet last season. Not bad for someone who did not participate in the sport as a freshman or compete in gymnastics as a youngster like some divers do.

“My friend said it would be a fun thing to try,” Tesky said. “I was just doing this sport to meet friends and have fun. Actually doing OK was very exciting. I decided I loved the sport.”

Tesky did not reach the state meet as a sophomore and could not remember what she accomplished at the East Central Conference championship meet.

“I think I finished pretty low,” she said.

As a junior, Tesky not only took first in the conference, she finished with 362.30 points at state.

Greg Heberlein has been Plymouth’s diving coach since 1982 and calls Tesky a “special kid.”

“As a sophomore, she didn’t show a lot of talent, but last year she just all of a sudden turned into a fantastic athlete,” he said. “I couldn’t have been more proud of what she did.”

Tesky took a diving clinic at the Schroeder YMCA in Brown Deer last summer, and that gave her better technique. Heberlein helped her improve that even more, and gave her more dives to work on.

“She learned to lift things off the board instead of back off or fly off,” Heberlein said. “She learned she could actually use the diving board to her advantage. It was really fun to watch.”

Plymouth has never had a diving champion. Taylor Knuth took third in 2011, fourth the following year and sixth in ’13. The Panthers have won a total of just four events at the state meet and Tesky was asked if she could become the next.

The top-two finishers from last season’s state meet, as well as the fifth-place diver, graduated. Tesky, however, was unsure she could move into the top spot this year.

“Every meet is different,” she said. “I’ll do my best and try. We’ll see. I’m excited though.”

McCABE ALSO RETURNS: Plymouth junior Isabella McCabe is back after placing 14th at state with 320.55 points. Like Tesky, McCabe’s sophomore season was also her first time competing in the sport.

“I’m looking toward a much improved season from her,” Heberlein said.

SO DO TWO OTHERS: Senior Keeley Kuru and Morgen Frausto return after helping then-seniors Katie Sanborn and Kathleen Coley end in 16th place in the 400-yard freestyle relay at state. Third-year Plymouth coach Dave Coley hopes Kuru and Frausto could qualify in individual events, too.

“They’re motivated and they’re hard working, and they want to improve on last year,” he said.

BACK ON TOP: Plymouth won the conference championship last year by two points over Kohler/Sheboygan Falls after failing to take first the previous two seasons. Prior to that, Plymouth had taken first 24 years in a row.

“We’d definitely like to start another streak,” the Panthers’ coach said. “I think our chances are good, but there’s two or three teams that are going to challenge us. So we’ll have to see what happens. We don’t know what the other teams have. We know they lost a few.”

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