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By Brad Spencer
The OPRF High School swimming and diving team is apparently without a diving board.
An email from a diver sent to the Wednesday Journal on Tuesday said the board had been removed. That information was confirmed Wednesday by head swim coach Peter Quinn.
"We have arranged to have our diving practices at Riverside-Brookfield and Fenwick for the rest of the season, and that's all I can tell you," said Quinn. "We are not diving at OPRF."
Quinn, currently in his 20th-year coaching the boys swim team at OPRF, would not elaborate as to why the board has been removed. He added the school has always had a diving program.
"It is what it is; we are without a board, so we will make the best of the situation."
Eight divers, ranging in classes from seniors to freshmen, currently compete in the event for OPRF, including Ben Lewis. The senior scored OPRF's only points at last season's IHSA State Meet. He finished eighth overall (425.65) in the diving event.
"Today me and my teammates walked into the pool, and saw janitors disassembling our diving board," the email from another diver stated. "We were expecting a new board which we desperately needed, but instead we were shuffled into a classroom where we were informed that the board was being permanently removed, and there was no replacement. The future of Oak Park and River Forest High School's boys and girls diving programs is unknown."
The diving board's removal may have to do with not meeting Illinois Department of Health and Safety standards. It was just last year that both the girls and the boys swimming and diving teams were without the use of the school's pool due to a contractor not obtaining the proper permits for work done at the facility on a drainage system. Since that time, new regulations have been put in place by the department.
Quinn said that for future home meets, the Huskies will do their diving at their opponent's pool, while practices will be held at Riverside-Brookfield and Fenwick High Schools.
Calls on Tuesday and Wednesday morning to Athletics Director John Stelzer and Principal Nathanial Rouse were not immediately returned.