Hinsdale Central alumnus recalls state diving championship
The Turek family (from left) David, 5, Marty, Susie, Abby, 9, Hannah, 9, and the dog Teddy in their home in Clarendon Hills. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 6:16AM
CLARENDON HILLS — It’s understandable if Clarendon Hills resident Marty Turek takes a mental trip down memory lane every time he sees his twin daughters on a diving board. Third-graders, Abby and Hannah, both are involved with a competitive youth swimming and diving team. It was 25 years ago that Turek, then a junior at Hinsdale Central, won a state diving championship to help lead the Red Devils to their second of three consecutive team titles.
Q. How did you become interested in diving?
A. Swimming to me was boring. My sister, Liz, was a really good swimmer. We actually moved to Florida for a while because she was training for the Olympics. Unfortunately, that was the 1980 (summer) Olympics, which the U.S. boycotted, so she never had the opportunity. I didn’t really like swimming; it was hard. I tried diving, and it was much more exciting to me.
Q. Did it take you for long to decide diving was something you wanted to pursue?
A. No. I was hooked pretty much right away. I was in third grade when I started. I used to go to Hinsdale Central and sneak into photos with the older kids. Diving was a good fit for me; it came fairly easy to me. I don’t have much fear, and when you’re young, it’s fear that can really hold you back.
Q. When did you realize that you were talented as a diver?
A. I finished sixth in the state as a freshman. I was enjoying it, and I worked pretty hard at it. I came back to finish fourth as a sophomore, won state as a junior, and was second as a senior.
Q. Was it disappointing when you didn’t repeat as state champ in 1989?
A. Not really. I worked hard all year, but not with the expectation that I would win. Sometimes, someone out-dives you on that day. There were no hard feelings.
Q. What was the better feeling for you, being part of the state championship teams or winning an individual state diving championship?
A. Definitely, it was the team. It was exciting to have our teams do so well because it had been a while since Central had won. Being part of those teams was really special. I still keep in-touch with some of my teammates. I’ll just pick up the phone sometimes and call. We were very close.
Q. Did you continue to dive competitively in college?
A. Yes. I went to the University of Tennessee on a diving scholarship. I was there for two years and then transferred to the University of Illinois for my last two years. I focused more and more on my studies once I got into college.
Q. What’s it like for you to watch your daughters dive?
A. It’s great. They like it, and that’s what is important. I don’t push them; they can do any sport they want. Abby plays soccer. I just want them to have fun and be happy.