Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Though she is an accomplished diver who has competed all over the world, Murphy Bromberg gets nervous when she steps to the edge of the 10-meter platform during a meet.
But, with time, she has learned to harness that anxiety into making her dives better. She channels it into what she calls her “powers.” Her powers give her confidence and remind her that something good is about to happen. After she controls her breathing and finds her power, she knows she is ready to dive.
At only 18 years old, Bromberg has more than her powers on her side. She also has two national titles.
Volunteer coach and former Longhorn diver Drew Livingston knew early on that Bromberg would be a great asset to the team.
“The first couple of practices that she had here, you could tell she just had raw talent on platform,” Livingston said. “She’s a work in progress in springboard but on platform you can tell that she has it. More than that, you can see that she has the work ethic that goes along with it. “
Texas diving coach Matt Scoggin has known Bromberg for a few years and has seen her confidence and her strength improve drastically. She is naturally quick, and her increased weight-training regimen since she arrived at Texas has helped her becoming even more competitive.
The summer before she arrived in Austin, she placed seventh in the synchronized platform diving event at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona. Bromberg also claimed the individual platform diving title at the National Diving Championships in August.
Given her platform diving success in 2013, Scoggin believes she can climb up the ranks internationally. But, he knows she also can be an exceptional springboard diver.
“Murphy is still skeptical of springboard but we’re going to make her a great springboard diver,” Scoggin said. “The results are maybe not what she wants right now. But, we don't really care about the results because her training on springboard is improving exponentially.”
Scoggin has coached the Longhorns for many years and has seen many freshmen struggle to balance diving, school and a social life when they are new on campus. He is impressed with Bromberg’s ability to focus on diving despite having so many other distractions.
Bromberg doesn’t dwell on her age. Her only focus is getting better and achieving her goal of making NCAAs this year and eventually winning the team national title.
“I don't feel any extra pressure being a freshman,” Bromberg said. “I think that I put pressure on myself to do well, but I don't really see myself as one of the best divers on the team because I think everybody on the team is so good and I truly mean that. Everyone is incredible. I do put a lot of pressure on myself though. That’s just how I am.”
Bromberg is very competitive, and diving with high-caliber divers at Texas has already benefitted her. Though she was working with great divers back home in Bexley, Ohio, she was the oldest. Now, she is one of the younger divers and her competitive nature has kicked in. She wants to be at the same level as the upperclassmen at Texas.
Livingston also came to Texas as a platform specialist, but Scoggin trained him to be a springboard diver. With the help of Scoggin, he became a two-time NCAA champion in the one-meter. Livingston is excited to watch her grow, especially since she is only 18 and still has four more years to grow in the Texas program.
“You look at the women that we have on our team and they’re very good platform divers,” Livingston said. “They’re even better on springboard, and that pushes Murphy to be better all around. You’ll even see her up there with some of the guys. Our men’s divers execute big dives and her eyes will light up. Or it will be the other way around and she will be diving great and the men will say to themselves, ‘Now I’ve got to step it up.’”
When Bromberg is around the pool, she is often unemotional. But that’s how she focuses. Bromberg has a dry and witty sense of humor, but when she steps on the diving board, she is unflappable.
Bromberg finished seventh on platform at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials. In 2013, Bromberg had a great year with four top-three finishes in her individual events. Her platform victory at the USA Diving Winter Nationals confirmed that she is heading in the right direction to achieving her ultimate goal — becoming an Olympian.
“It was really great to win the Winter Nationals last month after going through such a big change in coming to college and changing coaches,” Bromberg said. “It showed me I’m on the right track still and this is where I want to be. It solidified all of my decisions and made me even more excited to be at Texas.”