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Burkhart takes 2nd in diving

Leading the Northampton diving team this year as both a co-captain and points leader for the 1-meter men’s diving event is Northampton Senior Boden Burkhart.

Burkhart, who began his diving career just 4 years ago as a freshman on the Northampton swimming and diving team, placed second in Saturday’s East Penn Conference Diving Meet held at Emmaus High School. Outplaced only by Allentown Central Catholic’s JT Heinz, Burkhardt posted a total score of 193.05.

While competitive diving is a relatively new sport for Burkhart, he currently holds the second highest boys 6-dive score in the East Penn Conference this season, accumulating 215.15 vs. Freedom High School in their Dec. 6, 2022 meet. Burkhart has also placed first in each of the meets on Northampton’s schedule this season (among meets with a diving component), 5 meets in total.

Obviously enjoying his senior season on the team, Burkhart reminisces about his favorite Northampton memories, namely the meets and all the friends he has made. Amid cheers as he was recognized during Northampton’s senior night on Tuesday, Burkhart had unique handshakes for many of the fell teammates and fist pumps for the rest.

Burkhardt comments that his favorite dive is the inward 1.5; partially because it is his best dive but he admits, he has another reason.

“When I do that dive my head comes really close to the board,” explains Burkhart, “sometimes you can hear gasps, I like the reaction.”

Northampton head diving coach Todd Lerch is proud of Burkhart’s achievements, as he is of all his divers.

“They could have the worst dives and I’d still be so proud of them,” Lerch explains and when asked about Burkhart, his pride is evident. “He’s done well. There are a few tweaks we can make here and there, but he’s done well.”

Lerch goes on to explain that his main focus with Burkhart right now is getting him ready for districts and ultimately for diving in college.

Burkhardt will attend Westchester University next year and compete as a member of the Westchester diving team.

“This will be a completely new thing for me because they use a 3-meter board,” he said, in contrast to the 1-meter board Burkhardt is accustomed to using in Northampton’s competitions.

Burkhart will have new techniques to learn but seems eager for the new challenge. For now, the Northampton team has a few challenges of their own to face.

In the immediate future, Northampton is just past the halfway point in their 2022 – 2023 schedule. The diving squad is also looking forward to the EPC League Diving Championships on Saturday, Feb. 11 and PIAA District XI Diving Championships on Saturday, February 25.

Whatever the future holds, one thing is for certain, Burkhart is ready to jump into it headfirst.