Freshman diver Trent Kindvall making waves for UMass swimming

By Adam Aucoin

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

Take one look down the Massachusetts men’s swimming and diving team roster, and it’s clear the team is full of underclassmen. This youth has led to some inspired performances, but so far, the team has come up short.

The Minutemen lost to Brown on Saturday, 173-125, and have dropped three of their four meets to start the season.

Several young swimmers and divers have stepped up for UMass. Freshmen like Oliver Wyeth and Owen Wright, among others, have made a huge difference for the team.

But one player in particular that’s stood out is diver Trent Kindvall.

The freshman from Westminster, Colorado, has won three consecutive Rookie of the Week honors from the Atlantic 10 Conference and has been strong in every meet for UMass this season. Before joining the Minutemen, Kindvall was a standout diver at Standley Lake High School in Colorado. He was a three-time national qualifier and finished as one of the top divers at the Colorado State Championships.

“I think I have focused well and competed while doing my dives in competition,” Kindvall said. “It’s still early in the season, so I’m not going to get too ahead of myself, but focusing well has really helped.”

Kindvall has five first-place finishes, two seconds and a third-place finish to top it all off. Against the Bears on Saturday, he grabbed the top spot in the 3-meter dive and finished third in the 1-meter dive.

Despite all the early accolades he has received, Kindvall knows there is room for improvement. When Kindvall was asked what he could improve on, the freshman said “everything.”

“I know that I’m not going to be perfect, but specifically I need to work on my hurdles. Doing that will only make me better in competition.”

For the non-divers out there, hurdles are the last movement a diver makes during a forward approach and prior to taking off the diving board.

Kindvall cites diving coach Mandy Hixon as one of his biggest influences for success.

“Coach Mandy Hixon was the biggest reason I came here,” Kindvall said. “She is one of the best in the nation at what she does and being able to work and learn from her is something I am very lucky to able to do.”

The impact of Kindvall’s teammates has also had a huge impact on his early success.

Specifically, he cites fellow diver Robert Barry as an important influence.

“With Rob coming in and doing well this year it has really pushed me harder,” Kindvall said. “Everyone on the team works hard every day and that keeps me motivated to get better each day I’m out there.”

With a strong start, Kindvall has put himself in position to be a major contributor for the Minutemen both this season and in years to come.

“I expect myself to dive well and compete as best I can in competitions,” Kindvall said. “Hopefully doing this will correlate to having success in zones and the conference meet. I need to focus and make sure I don’t get too caught up in places.”

The team hits the pool next for competition Nov. 21-23 as it heads to Boston University for the Terrier Invitational. All events for that meet start at 10 a.m.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at [email protected]