John Garner Jr. of the Cape Cod times catches up with UMass diver and Dennisport, Mass. native Michaela Butler.
When Michaela Butler was growing up, the closest she got to a diving board was driving past the YMCA pool in West Barnstable.
The Dennisport native competed at a high level in gymnastics and track at Dennis-Yarmouth, but had no experience as a competitive diver.
Butler led the Dolphins track team to an ACL Championship as a senior MVP, setting school records as part of in the 4x50 relay, 4x200 relay, and triple jump relay.
She also competed in club gymnastics, winning a Level 9 state championship as a freshman and Level 9 Regional Championship as a sophomore.
But despite no background in diving, the redshirt junior has taken to the sport like a duck to water at UMass-Amherst. During the Frank Elm Invitational Nov. 19 against top competitors from host Rutgers, Columbia, Boston University, Villanova, Army and Coast Guard, Butler captured first-place finishes in the one and three-meter diving events. In the one-meter, Butler set a UMass record with a preliminary score of 295.90 and notched 271.90 in the finals. She set another school record in the three-meter dive with an impressive score of 347.75 during prelims, 37 points higher than the previous record. She captured the finals with a score of 339.75.
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