Dec. 4, 2009
Irish senior diver Caleb Dunnichay transferred from Auburn to Notre Dame for his junior season and made an immediate impact on the Irish squad. He had two personal best dives last season, at the Shamrock Invite and in the dual meet at Louisville. Dunnichay’s fourth-place performance in the BIG EAST Championships helped the Irish secure the victory at that meet and a second consecutive conference title. Dunnichay sat down with UND.com to tell us a little about himself:
1. What made you choose to take up diving?
I was a swimmer when I was younger, and also played football and basketball. My cousin was a diver, and after seeing what I could do on a trampoline, she suggested that I try diving. After training for three months, I qualified for my first nationals and then decided to keep working at it. I continued to dive and play football throughout high school.
2. What is your favorite dive?
On one meter, 105B (which is front two-and-a-half pike). On three meter, 305B (which is reverse/gainer two-and-a-half pike).
3. What made you transfer from Auburn to Notre Dame?
I am from Indiana and wanted to come back home where I could be closer to my family. During my recruiting process, I had trouble deciding between Auburn and Notre Dame. After winning an NCAA championship at Auburn, I decided that I wanted to come back to Notre Dame where I could be closer to my family.
4. What is your biggest diving accomplishment?
Placing second at nationals when I was 15. In the last couple of years, it would be finalling at the SEC championships and getting third on three meter at the BIG EAST Championships last year.
5. What has been your favorite class thus far at Notre Dame?
Spanish with Joharra Sonza. She is a great teacher that makes every class enjoyable.
6. How do you balance your studies with your training?
It is always a struggle because I am so tired after practice everyday. I just try to stay in a routine so that I get all of my work done.
7. Any favorite foods to eat before a meet?
I have to have eggs in the morning. If it is an evening competition then it is just some fruit and a sandwich. Coffee, too.
8. What song is on repeat on your iPod?
I just listen to the same playlist for every meet. It’s all up-beat music. A lot of rap.
9. What is your favorite Notre Dame football game day tradition?
Tailgating with friends and family.
10. Any favorite memories with your Irish teammates?
Our training trip to Puerto Rico was a lot of fun.
11. Your sister competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 10m synchronized diving event. Any Olympic aspirations of your own? Was it inspirational to see your sister compete at that level?
I do not have any Olympic aspirations, but it was amazing and very inspirational to see Mary Beth achieve such an accomplishment. I am very proud of her.
12. What sport would you be playing if you were not a diver?
13. Do you have a favorite pool to dive/compete in?
The IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. It was where I grew up training, so I always feel comfortable there.
14. Do you have any nicknames?
My teammates call me Peach.
15. What is your favorite thing about your hometown of Elwood, Ind.?
It is a small town where everyone knows everybody else, which can be good or bad at times. I like that it is only two hours from Notre Dame, so that I can go home and see my family without flying.
16. What are your goals for your senior season?
My goals are to win the BIG EAST as a team and individually, as well as to score at NCAAs.
17. What was it like to have two career bests last year in your first season with the Irish?
It was really exciting. I didn’t feel like a lot had changed, but at Notre Dame I began to work a lot more on my entries and consistency.
18. Do you have any role models in the diving or sports world?
John Wingfield and Phillip Jones. John was my coach when I was younger and he is now my sister’s coach at the National Training Center. Phil was a diver/teammate of mine. Both of them taught me a lot about diving and what it takes to succeed.
19. Who do you look up to outside of athletics and why?
My Mom and Dad because they have taught me to always pursue my goals and stay firm to my beliefs.
20. What does being part of the Fighting Irish mean to you?
I am very proud to represent Notre Dame. It has always been a dream of mine to go to school here and compete here. It is great to be an athlete at a school that so many people admire and respect.
— ND —