Being the only diver on the Wheaton Dive team last year, Isabella “Bella” Barrett ‘24 worked tirelessly to perfect her craft in a season that only allowed her one meet. As the new dive season is underway, this year Barrett is joined by two first-year divers. Competing by her side at every meet, the addition of her new teammates make for a fundamentally different experience as their presence makes competing more of a team initiative. Her desire to keep doing what she loves under the most unfavorable of circumstances is highly commendable. Barrett found her love for diving as she explored many different sports, but it always held a special place in her heart due to its fluidity. From then to now, not much has changed. Barrett is full of personality, competitive drive, and possesses a mindset that many wish they had, as she is the true embodiment of a player who always believes in themself.
Outside the pool, Barrett is an elementary education and psychology double major who hopes to be able to teach the next generation of students. She is getting a head start on her future career, as she coaches the two new completely new divers on the team. The dive team only has a coach for two hours a week, and the rest is up to the divers. Barrett has taken the initiative to assume a leadership role and teach what it takes to be a diver. According to Barrett, not many people know the dive team exists, despite the fact that they work just as hard as the swimmers to be able to compete several times a week.
Barrett dove for her country club from ages 8-16, but when she aged out of the program she had no real place to practice the sport she loved since her school didn’t have a dive team. Barrett continued to swim throughout high school and when she decided to come to Wheaton, she was ecstatic at the fact that there was a diving team. Barrett decided to try out, and sure enough made it onto the team, marking her return to the sport that she loved. As a first-year, she began her Wheaton diving career as the only diver on the team in 2020. “The pool is a second home to me, it is where I am meant to be,” Barrett stated. She loves to drink red Gatorade during meets and has to fuel up with a snack in between each diving event. On top of that, Barrett listens to “Get’cha Head in the Game ” by High School Musical before every away meet. This was a tradition Barrett started when she played basketball in high school.
Barrett cannot wait for the rest of the season. She adds how spending time with her team Monday through Saturday every week makes it all worthwhile. Seeing the fellow swimmers cheer on all the divers means a lot to her and even if the swimmers are competing during their dives, she knows they are always supportive of every one of them. Barrett’s improvement over the past year is astronomical. Her scores this year compared to last year reflect the work that she has put in throughout the season. In 2020, during her one meet against The United States Coast Guard Academy, Barrett had a score of 94.35 in the 3-meter diving event, and 102.75 in 1-meter diving. In her best meet of the season this year, she was able to shatter those personal records. Barrett scored 153.05 on the 3 meters and 155.90 on the 1-meter board against the Blue of Wellesley College. Her improvement is evident, existing as a product of all her practice and fierce enthusiasm to try new dives in order to become a stronger competitor. The sky’s the limit for Barrett, as she only seems to improve.
Barrett always has acknowledged and continues to acknowledge the challenges in front of her, and faces them head-on with no hesitation. As a diver who couldn’t even perform in high school because her school lacked a team, Barrett seems to be unphased by any adversity that comes her way. Barrett is someone who doesn’t shy away from leadership and has that rare attribute of being able to put others before herself. With this mindset, there is no doubt that within and beyond the pool, she will have success in whatever life throws her way.