Aaron Idelson and Catherine Borgstrom started diving together when they were beginning junior high. In June, they will graduate as reigning Section Three, Class C champions and arguably the best divers in Cooperstown history.
Borgstrom started in gymnastics young, and upon moving to Cooperstown with her family, she transferred those early skills into diving.
She persuaded Idelson, her friend and classmate, to suit up for the board as well.
“Catherine told me how much fun diving camp was so I decided to give it a try, I wasn’t that serious about it. Mostly, I loved the camp,” Idelson said.
Both agree it was their times together, diving at the Clark Sport Center, that sealed the deal for their six-year commitment. In addition to their time at the Clark, Idelson and Borgstrom credited Hartwick College’s diving camp as a big part of their success and also helped form their friendship.
Ironically, one of Idelson’s camp roommates was Sherburne-Earlville’s Ethan Kurth, his biggest area rival in during his diving career. The two have competed throughout high school and remain good friends, Idelson said, although he beat Kurth for both the Frontier League and section title this year.
Their local coaching was important too, they said, giving credit to CCS boys coach Cheryl Rock and girls coach Katy Haseley. Neither CCS coach was a diver themselves, but both coaches encouraged the Idelson and Borgstrom to seek out help from diving coach Ann Burgin at Hartwick College when they could.
“We have a sort of weekly ‘club’,” said Idelson, “which has been very important to our competing.”
Added Borgstrom: “Because of our event, we aren’t necessarily pushed from within our ranks. We have to go outside to get competition.”
In duel meets the past few years, success on the board has given the Cooperstown almost automatic points. Those points will be missing next year, and perhaps for several years to come as there are no new divers coming up in the program.