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Diving Earns League Honors Before His First Meet

Freshman diver Charlie Matthews captured the attention of the Summit League the second he stepped on campus as he was selected the preseason “Diver to Watch” for South Dakota.

With the preseason honor, Matthews was the only athlete under a junior classification for the Coyotes to be selected. 

Matthews has five individual wins on the season after winning both the one and three-meter dive at the Coyotes Invitational at the start of February.

Knowing he has five individual wins this season, Matthews feels capable in his abilities going into the Summit League Championships.

“Makes me a lot more confident than I was originally,” Matthews said. “It definitely makes me a lot more confident in my conference meet.”

The confidence for Matthews has grown from a young age when he started swimming at five years old.

Matthews won the state championships in Kansas as a sophomore in high school. From that moment on, Matthews knew in his mind that he could dive in college.

“I knew pretty early on when I won the state championships as a sophomore. So then I knew I was good enough to do this,” Matthews said.

When he was getting closer to being in college, he started to look at different places to go but knew that the search was going to be difficult because swimming and diving were not as big of a sport as football.

“It doesn’t produce enough revenue so the scholarship money is tight,” Matthews said. “It’s a lot different than football. In the sense of availability and the schools that have swim and dive.”

Matthews decided upon USD because he loved the community as well as the swim team opportunities available.

“Great community and we have a swim and dive team. I loved the coaches and the new pool is a plus,” Matthews said.

Matthew’s confidence has grown over the year making him excited for the future.

“It makes me more excited for the next three years. It makes me feel better about my abilities. Didn’t really think I would be here,” Matthews said.

Matthews will compete in the Summit League swim and dive championships on Feb. 21-24 in Minneapolis.