Anya Weber

“Strangely, one of Anya’s biggest obstacles this season was peanuts,” Mr. Brandis Heffner, girls diving coach, said. It may sound funny, but Heffner was serious. 

Anya Weber (‘20) had to overcome an allergic reaction on two occasions throughout the season, which prevented her from attending multiple practices. However, she was able to “bounce back and finish 2nd in a really close meet” after experiencing a reaction “just two days before our conference [tournament],” Heffner added. 

Although the outside factors and physical aspects can be challenging at times, getting over the mental bounds can be what sets an athlete apart from the rest in such close contests.

You have to convince yourself the training can be worth it,” Weber said.

After practicing for hours on end, in an effort to enhance the quality of each dive, perfection has been Weber’s goal all season. 

“Anya has this year spent the year really focusing on perfecting her dives, and making each one a little bit better,” Mrs. Heather Budak, said.

“She approached every meet with a goal in mind, and if she didn’t accomplish it, she would come into the next practice determined to fix her mistake,” Heffner said.

In conflict with her calm demeanor, Weber has an intensity that radiates off of her in the pool that others cannot help but notice. 

“Anya always has a strong desire to succeed and loves to win,” said Heffner. 

Although Weber has faced disappointment, she is not one to back down but is rather determined to fix her mistakes next practice.

“Even in some of her record-breaking performances, she would be unhappy with a dive or two and that drive would lead her to even more success later on,” Heffner said. 

Weber positively uses her frustration as fuel to keep a confident attitude. Her tenacity has resulted in self-growth during her diving career.

Through the rough waters of the season, “Anya’s mental game grew a lot,” according to Heffner.

While there were meets where Weber lost to competitors who she could have beaten, she used those as “great learning opportunities to build resilience and mental toughness,” said Heffner, adding that “Anya was able to avenge her losses [at State] and beat all but one girl who had beaten her during the regular season.” 

Though she ultimately fell 0.6 points short of advancing to the second day of the State meet, Weber has enjoyed a very successful senior season, including a record-setting performance that got her name on the board above the NCHS pool. 

Setting school records this season in both the 6 Dives with a score of 257.75 and 11 Dives with a score of 448.60, Weber has etched herself into Normal Community folklore.

Anya’s diving accomplishments might be considered “nuts”, considering that her aquatic career began six short years ago. After soaking up every second of her time in and out of the water, she is ready to open the door to the next chapter in her life.