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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Homestead sophomore diver Kevin Frebel’s 531 shattered the previous record of 506 set by ex-Spartan David Piercy.

Diving into record books

Following brothers, Spartan sophomore breaks NHC mark

– Homestead diver Kevin Frebel jumped into the history books last Saturday at the NHC meet. And the sophomore got the figurative push from his older brothers.

The youngest of four brothers who have been in the pool for so long, a blood transfusion would need a dose of chlorine, Frebel might be the best of the bunch.

In just his second season of high school swimming and diving, Frebel scored 531, shattering the previous record of 506 set by ex-Spartan David Piercy.

“I knew it was going to be tough because I haven’t practiced too much because of the blizzard,” Frebel said of the record-setting performance. “I knew I had the training in me, and my coach had previously prepared me to do it. It is definitely a matter of doing new dives but also mastering older dives.”

Homestead dive coach Jill Eakright said “it was a really good day for Kevin.”

“He just put together 11 really good dives, and that always helps,” she said.

Frebel follows brothers David, Daniel and Kyle into the pool, and all but David was a diver.

“It was following in their footsteps, and I wasn’t even hesitant to start diving,” Frebel said. “I always knew I could do some flips off the board, so it wasn’t too scary for me at first.”

Coaching Homestead divers for 20 years, Eakright has now worked with three of the Frebel brothers and sees what the youngest is dealing with in trying to live up to his siblings’ legacies.

Frebel grew up diving at Orchard Ridge Country Club’s pool, while his brothers worked as lifeguards. One of his brothers recommended him to the club’s swim coach.

“Good genes are part of it,” Eakright said. “Kevin knows he is the youngest and has some big shoes to fill, but yet, as any youngest sibling, he wants to carve his own path. He is not the same as the other brothers, and he dives differently. He will figure out his own way and not always be compared to the older brothers.”

After finishing eighth at the state meet last season and sixth in his age group of the Junior Nationals over the summer, Frebel wanted to make things more difficult this season. The higher the complexity, the higher the potential score.

“We talked about it at the beginning of the season, and what we wanted (was) to try harder dives and get out of his comfort zone a little bit,” Eakright said. “That’s where we started the season off, and he has done a really good job with it.

“The step up for him is quite a big leap for any diver.”

Frebel said a top-five finish at the state meet is his goal this season.

“He has endless potential,” Eakright said. “He has great body awareness in the air, He twists well, and he spins fast. The sky’s the limit as far as his future and where he wants to take it beyond high school.”

gjones@jg.net

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