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Morgan takes plunge to dive with boys

More than half the human body is made of water, but Kelsey Morgan might have a little extra in her. Part of a family full of divers she's likely got swimming pool water running through her bloodline. Her father was a diver and both of her sisters are, too.

So whether it was nature or nurture that did it, Morgan, a sophomore at Cold Spring Harbor, was almost destined to join the club. But Morgan also plays tennis, and girls tennis only happens in the fall in Nassau, the same season girls swimming and diving takes place.

Faced with choosing between two loves, what's a girl to do? Join up with the boys, who swim and dive in the winter.

Morgan currently ranks seventh in the county with a score of 188.25 in the one-meter dive and took fifth at counties in 2010 (355.40) - all as part of the boys team.

"I was a little nervous because I didn't know what to expect being the only girl. I didn't know how it was going to be," she said. "But it turned out okay, because I'm friends with some of the seniors.

"I think I've gained confidence diving with the guys, because it was something I never thought I could do. I'm kind of shy, but once I started diving with the guys, I got a lot more confidence."

While the boys on her team have adapted to the idea of a co-ed squad, Morgan said her presence on the team has shocked others.

"They're all really nice, but some of the guys on other teams are really appalled," she said. "They're like, 'What are you doing here? Not to be offensive, but why are you diving?'"

Morgan faces other challenges, too. While the dives may be the same for both genders, guys can jump a little higher and spin a little faster, allowing them to flip more. Girls, however, have the upper hand in twisting, says Morgan.

Morgan said that if she ever stopped playing tennis, she would like to try diving with the girls, but she's happy where she is for now. "I don't mind competing with the guys," she said. "It's nice sometimes. It's something different."

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