Carly Sevald, 20, of Royal Oak claimed the NCAA Division II 3-meter diving championship in Mansfield, TX, last weekend. The 5-foot-6-inch Wayne State University Warrior also finished third in 1-meter diving and was named “Diver of the Year.”
Sevald went to Catholic Elementary before graduating from Mercy High School in Farmington Hills in 2008. As a freshman at Mercy, Sevald took up diving after learning the school didn’t offer varsity gymnastics.
“At 4 or 5 years old, Carly started taking gymnastics classes at the ," and ultimately won national medals in the YMCA National Gymnastic Championships," said Melanie Sevald, the diver’s mother. “She is a natural athlete.”
The transition from gymnastics to diving was “pretty easy,” the Wayne State junior said. “It’s still twisting and flipping. The only thing I had to get used to was landing on my head. I was used to landing on my feet.”
At Mercy, Sevald captured the Division II state championship as a senior and earned All-America accolades, too. The four-year letter winner helped lead the Marlins to four straight Catholic League titles and two consecutive state championships before deciding to become a Warrior.
“In her senior year, we visited several schools, but we chose Wayne State because they offered her the best package,” Melanie Sevald said.
At Wayne State, the diver has excelled in and out of the pool. She was the recipient of the Division II Academic Achievement Award in 2010-11.
Sevald credits her club coach of six years, Don Mason, for helping her stay focused. “He really helped make me successful,” she said.
Are the Olympics next?
Sevald is very well-rounded, has a boyfriend and is interested in many things, according to her mother.
“College athletics will be it for me,” said the six-time all-American collegiate diver. “Family, friends and my career are more important to me than giving up my life for diving. To be in the Olympics you have to give up everything.”
An early childhood education major, Sevald hopes to teach kindergarten one day – and coach. “I would love to coach a high school team one day,” she said.