The Bend Swim Club broke surface tension — and records — at the Junior Nationals Competition earlier this month in Austin, Texas. Diggory Dillingham, a swimmer on the team, is ranked third in the world for 18 and under competitors.
“I have state records in North Carolina, Iowa, and here,” Dillingham said. “I don’t have any national records, but I have a lot of different team records from teams I‘ve been on.”
Like any other sport, success starts with preparation. And Dillingham gets that preparation both in the pool and at home.
The coach of the club is his mother, Megan Oesting. She brings a unique coaching philosophy to the pool.
“I think both of us are not traditional,” Oesting said. We don’t really have the skills that a lot of swimmers do. We’re both really horrible kickers. We’re both really short. Neither of us are flexible. So when I was swimming I had to find a better way that fit my body. So I respect the individuality of every body, and my job is to help the car they’re driving go as fast as possible.”
Oesting, an accomplished swimmer herself, is a former All-American from UCLA and U.S. National Team member.
As for Dillingham, he now looks forward to following his mother’s footsteps in becoming a professional athlete.
“I want to go to college, then make the Olympic Team either during my gap year, or after my college career, and then go pro,” Dillingham said.
Dillingham says he is taking a gap year after he graduates high school this year. He will continue to focus on swimming in the meantime. He then hopes to make a splash at the University of Southern California.