Notre Dame’s Violet Williamson wins third straight Mercer County diving title

February 9, 2024 at 7:00 a.m.
Violet Williamson, senior in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, won the Mercer County diving championship title Jan. 23 for the third year in a row. Courtesy photo composite
Violet Williamson, senior in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, won the Mercer County diving championship title Jan. 23 for the third year in a row. Courtesy photo composite

By RICH FISHER
Contributing Editor

After Violet Williamson won her third consecutive Mercer County diving championship Jan. 23, one might have thought it was just business as usual for the Notre Dame High, Lawrenceville, senior. That, however, would be incorrect.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” the Hamilton Township resident said. “It’s still a bit of a thrill … When I say I won three times in a row, I feel really proud of that … It doesn’t feel like a big deal to me because I’ve just been living my life. But it’s been three years of winning it, which is pretty crazy.”

It could have been four had COVID-19 not derailed Williamson’s freshman season, but she will still go down as one of the greatest high school divers in county history. This year, thanks to some more intricate plunges, she set meet and school records with a score of 308.5 points on six dives off the 1-meter springboard at the Lawrenceville School.

“I actually completed a full pike list, as divers refer to it,” Williamson said. “All of my dives were in either the pike position or my twister. The degree of difficulty in my twister category dive was much higher than the one I competed in previous years. Overall, it was a much harder list for me objectively, which felt like a bigger personal accomplishment.”

Williamson began diving at age six. She joined a local swim club and noticed there was an opening for divers. What was meant to be a fun side activity got serious really quick when she won the six-and-under diving title in the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association’s Championship meet.

“It may have just been six-and-under, but it kept my spark for diving going,” Williamson said.  

She continued with club diving and when indoor restrictions canceled state and county meets the winter of her freshman year, Violet’s parents took her to Colorado, where she continued to work on her craft. Due to virtual learning that year, she did not miss any school.

“That’s pretty amazing to go that far to keep training,” ND diving coach Elisa Sautter said. “Her parents are so supportive; we’ve seen them around the pool for years helping out.”

While diving for the Knight Diving Academy out of Rutgers, New Brunswick, Williamson has enjoyed varying degrees of success in AAU events and Junior Nationals. At the high school level, the remaining goal is a state championship, which she will pursue at Montgomery High in the NJSIAA Championships Feb. 27.

Unlike the county meet, Violet has little time to increase the complexity of her dives for state competition.

“At this point, consistency with all my dives is the goal before states,” she said. “That consists of doing more reps with my one-meter dives. In my club training we train one-meter, three-meter and platform, so in the next few weeks I’m gonna have to try to get on the one-meter a lot more.”

Asked what it would mean to be the Queen of New Jersey diving, Williamson was low key.

“I wouldn’t say it would be a huge accomplishment, but it would close out my high school diving career in a really nice way,” she said. “It would be that final cherry on top.”

Whether she plucks that cherry or not, Williamson is still headed for the University of California, Berkeley next fall.

“There’s a relatively new coach (Pei Lin) out there,” Violet said. “When I first met her, we clicked personality and goal-wise. The athlete-coach relationship is really important to me and my progression in the sport. Being able to feel the immediate connection was something that I really wanted to have.”

It is something she had with ND classmates the past four years. After being home-schooled, Williamson appreciated the camaraderie of Catholic school. 

“Everyone feels connected, no matter what,” she said. “Everyone is joined together receiving a Catholic education. Even as an athlete in a sport with only myself on the team, I still feel respected by other athletes.” 

With three county titles to her name, it’s well-deserved respect.


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After Violet Williamson won her third consecutive Mercer County diving championship Jan. 23, one might have thought it was just business as usual for the Notre Dame High, Lawrenceville, senior. That, however, would be incorrect.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” the Hamilton Township resident said. “It’s still a bit of a thrill … When I say I won three times in a row, I feel really proud of that … It doesn’t feel like a big deal to me because I’ve just been living my life. But it’s been three years of winning it, which is pretty crazy.”

It could have been four had COVID-19 not derailed Williamson’s freshman season, but she will still go down as one of the greatest high school divers in county history. This year, thanks to some more intricate plunges, she set meet and school records with a score of 308.5 points on six dives off the 1-meter springboard at the Lawrenceville School.

“I actually completed a full pike list, as divers refer to it,” Williamson said. “All of my dives were in either the pike position or my twister. The degree of difficulty in my twister category dive was much higher than the one I competed in previous years. Overall, it was a much harder list for me objectively, which felt like a bigger personal accomplishment.”

Williamson began diving at age six. She joined a local swim club and noticed there was an opening for divers. What was meant to be a fun side activity got serious really quick when she won the six-and-under diving title in the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association’s Championship meet.

“It may have just been six-and-under, but it kept my spark for diving going,” Williamson said.  

She continued with club diving and when indoor restrictions canceled state and county meets the winter of her freshman year, Violet’s parents took her to Colorado, where she continued to work on her craft. Due to virtual learning that year, she did not miss any school.

“That’s pretty amazing to go that far to keep training,” ND diving coach Elisa Sautter said. “Her parents are so supportive; we’ve seen them around the pool for years helping out.”

While diving for the Knight Diving Academy out of Rutgers, New Brunswick, Williamson has enjoyed varying degrees of success in AAU events and Junior Nationals. At the high school level, the remaining goal is a state championship, which she will pursue at Montgomery High in the NJSIAA Championships Feb. 27.

Unlike the county meet, Violet has little time to increase the complexity of her dives for state competition.

“At this point, consistency with all my dives is the goal before states,” she said. “That consists of doing more reps with my one-meter dives. In my club training we train one-meter, three-meter and platform, so in the next few weeks I’m gonna have to try to get on the one-meter a lot more.”

Asked what it would mean to be the Queen of New Jersey diving, Williamson was low key.

“I wouldn’t say it would be a huge accomplishment, but it would close out my high school diving career in a really nice way,” she said. “It would be that final cherry on top.”

Whether she plucks that cherry or not, Williamson is still headed for the University of California, Berkeley next fall.

“There’s a relatively new coach (Pei Lin) out there,” Violet said. “When I first met her, we clicked personality and goal-wise. The athlete-coach relationship is really important to me and my progression in the sport. Being able to feel the immediate connection was something that I really wanted to have.”

It is something she had with ND classmates the past four years. After being home-schooled, Williamson appreciated the camaraderie of Catholic school. 

“Everyone feels connected, no matter what,” she said. “Everyone is joined together receiving a Catholic education. Even as an athlete in a sport with only myself on the team, I still feel respected by other athletes.” 

With three county titles to her name, it’s well-deserved respect.


The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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