New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

In the Huddle: Issara Schmidt, a national champion for NYU Diving

Junior Issara Schmidt spoke to WSN about her collegiate career and NYU’s NCAA diving victory in the 2022-23 season.
Kiran Komanduri
Junior Issara Schmidt. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Junior Issara Schmidt has been a top performer as a diver for NYU women’s swimming and diving team. Last year, she was named one of the First Team Scholar All-America athletes by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America and was the NCAA Northeast Regional Champion in the 1m and 3m dives. 

Schmidt also was named a First Team All-America athlete in the 1m dive and Second Team All-America athlete in the 3m dive at the NCAA National Championships, along with numerous other student-athlete distinctions. 

In an interview with WSN, Schmidt — who is majoring in mathematics and economics and minoring in social and cultural analysis — spoke about her experience diving for NYU as she heads into her final year of college.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

WSN: Have you faced any challenges as an NYU student-athlete, and if so, how did you navigate through them?

Schmidt: I’ve had to learn a lot of time management skills and how to communicate with my professors. I commit to two hours of practice every day, and during championship season, I’m usually gone every weekend or every other weekend. So I miss a week of class because of meets, and that is usually a big deal. When this happens, I need to sit and assess how I’m doing mentally, ‘Do I have time to do this extracurricular, or will it impact my academics?’
When I do feel overwhelmed with my diving commitments, I’ve been able to have an honest conversation with my coach and talk about withdrawing from a competition — I’m so lucky to have a coach who is so understanding because maintaining that balance between diving and academics is really important for me.

WSN: As an upperclassman on the swimming and diving team, how do you commit to becoming a role model for your younger teammates and creating a positive team environment?

Schmidt: As an upperclassman, you’ve got people on the team already looking up to you and asking you for advice. I’m prepared to take that leadership role, and I’m excited about it. Remembering how I was as a freshman, there are people asking a lot of the same questions that I was asking back then and kind of struggling with the same thing that I was going through. It’s nice to be a reassuring voice on the team.

WSN: What was your favorite memory as an NYU diver?

Schmidt: Last year, when we had our NYU invite, the whole team was there and got to compete. Everyone had a good day, it was a super fun environment and we were throwing high scores. It was a fun time and was some of our seniors’ last meet. It was really cool to have a collective energy where everyone can be there. 

WSN: What are you looking forward to for your final year on the team?

Schmidt: I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve already done all the hard skills I want to do. I’m just really excited to go up there and be confident about what I’m doing on the board. I have been doing these dives for over two years now, and I want to perfect my dives and be more consistent with them. Lastly, I want to be able to leave the sport and feel like I give it my all and be happy with my overall experience. I want to be able to walk away and say that diving was really fun for me. 

Contact Anthony Lo at [email protected].

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