Lake Forest College diver Heath Ogawa has his sights set on the NCAA Division III Championships, which will be held next week (March 21-24) at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ogawa, who earned All-American honors by finishing in eighth place in the 1-meter event in 2016 and has also turned in three Honorable Mention All-American performances (top 16), has plans to approach this year’s national meet with a different mindset.
“This year I want to shift my focus from the end goal to enjoying the process and the journey itself,” commented Ogawa.
“Right now it’s easy to get distracted and to think about the results that I hope to achieve, but all I can do at this point is to stay focused in training and enjoy what’s remaining in the season.”
Ogawa is having nothing short of an outstanding season thus far. Two weekends ago he finished first off both boards at the Region 1 Diving Championships. His finish in the 1-meter competition was the second-highest score in any of the four regional meets and his marks in the 3-meter event ranked him sixth in the country. He has now placed first in 20 of 21 events this season with his only runner-up finish coming by less than a point to a Division I competitor at the UIC Diving Invite.
Leading into next week’s championship meet, Ogawa is working on repetition in practice and engaging in his own mental preparation during downtime. He hopes these practices will make him feel more comfortable with each dive and increase his confidence to perform to the best of his ability.
When asked what he looks forward to most, Ogawa replied, “I look forward to the competition, traveling with my coach, getting to know other athletes, and enjoying the overall experience.”
NCAA.com will video stream all sessions of the championships. Ogawa will compete in the 3-meter event on Wednesday and off the 1-meter board on Friday.