As Lauren Miller ’21 watched the summer Olympics at 10 years old, she proclaimed to her family that she wanted to compete there. The search for a sport was on. Despite not being able to dive off the side of the pool initially, Lauren tried diving and fell in love. She’s been diving for eight years and is the LJCDS swim and dive team captain. In fall 2021, she’ll be attending the University of Chicago for swimming and diving, and to study pre-law.
“I’ve come a long way since that first day in the pool, but I love it,” shares Lauren. “Diving is such a mental sport—it’s been a lot of learning and growth both athletically and mentally. All the work is worth it for the ultimate goal of doing the dives in competition.”
In addition to the LJCDS team, Lauren competes for club teams and trains in the water between three to five days a week, plus gym training. Diving has been a constant in her life, and while she strives for perfection, she has learned to do her best and keep moving forward.
“Obviously, you want to get that 10 on every dive,” explains Lauren. “It’s a high goal because there is a lot of work to get there. If you do a bad dive, you still have eight or nine more dives to do. You have to move on mentally and do your best the next time around. I feel like that’s applicable in academics and life. It’s the concept of understanding that you do your best and constantly strive for growth. It’s enjoying the learning process.”
“Since her freshman year, Lauren has broken the LJCDS diving record seven different times,” beams Nate Heppner, swim and dive head coach and Middle School English educator. “While records are made to be broken, I think we’ll see Lauren’s name on the school record board for many years to come. She is a 2021 team captain, a three-time City Conference qualifier, 2019 City Conference champion, three-time CIF-qualifier, three-time All-Eastern League selection, and second place finisher at the 2021 CIF Championship. Lauren has defined athletic and academic excellence for our team these past four years, and we’ll certainly miss watching her dive next season.”
As a Lifer who joined LJCDS in kindergarten, Lauren has been gathering accomplishments along the way. In Middle School, she served as the student speaker for the eighth-grade promotion. During the ceremony, she was also given two awards: the English department award and the coveted Balmer Award for Citizenship for helping others.
In Upper School, Lauren is co-president of the senior class and a member of the Spanish Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society: Visual Art. After joining Mock Trial in seventh grade, she was part of the winningest team this year and competed at the California State Championship. Her creative writing won her second place in the Amy Marie Watkins Poetry Contest. And she somehow squeezes in weekly piano lessons for the joy of it and as a creative outlet.
“I’m setting my sights on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in college for the D3 NCAA title,” shares Lauren. “That is my new goal. Slightly more attainable than the Olympics. But that will always be the dream.”