When Annie Bingle amassed 461.26 points after 11 dives at the FCIAC West Region Championships this past fall, it not only gave her the title. Her standout score earned her All-America honors – an achievement she’s become accustomed to reaching.
The National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association recently released its list of 2020-2021 Girls One-Meter Diving All-America athletes for the and Bingle received such accolades for the the third consecutive time. An incoming Greenwich High School senior, Bingle was one of 100 divers nationwide recognized as an All-American performer.
“This was the third time I made All-America and it’s just as exciting as the first,” Bingle said. “Especially with COVID, we had to work extra hard this year to accomplish what we had in previous seasons. So, I’m grateful.”
Greenwich’s fall 2020 campaign marked Bingle’s first season on the team. She spent her freshman and sophomore seasons competing for Greenwich Academy and displayed her diving skills as an eighth-grader at Sacred Heart Greenwich. As a sophomore at Greenwich Academy, Bingle placed second at the NEPSAC Division I diving championship with an All-America point total of 446. Her freshman year saw her gain All-America accolades and the NEPSAC Division I title with a score of 435.05 points.
The Cardinals’ 2020 swimming and diving season was modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Open, Class LL and FCIAC championship meets were not held and the opponents the team faced were limited whichever squads were assigned to the FCIAC West Region. Still, Bingle was able to showcase her diving talents on the 1-meter board at the FCIAC West Region finals and in the duel meets the Cards competed in.
“Even though it was kind of limited, I loved the season and the team,” Bingle said. “It was cool to be on a very big team. The swim and dive team is very close and we had 40, maybe 50 athletes on the team. It was nice to get back on the board even though we didn’t have as many meets as we could. It was great to dive again, after a long summer of competitions canceled. I think we do have a normal season coming up. I haven’t heard a lot about the specific details coming up, so I’m excited about the season being back in full swing.”
Greenwich begins practice for its 2021 season later this month and the meets are scheduled to begin in September, with its first one taking place on Sept. 10 against visiting Fairfield Warde. After concluding her GHS diving career in November and graduating from the school in June of 2022, Bingle will prepare for her next diving chapter. Over the winter, she committed to the admissions process at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will join the school’s Division I, Ivy League women’s diving and swimming team.
“The recruiting process this year was especially hard, as the NCAA recruiting period was extended over and over,” Bingle said. “I was fortunate to get such a great opportunity. I’m really excited about going to UPenn, it has a nice blend of academics and athletics – I wanted a balance of both. I met a bunch of people on the team so far and everyone is amazing.”
During the summer, Bingle has spent time coaching the sport, while briefly competing for Riverside Yacht Club’s summer squad. She’s also kept her training up at the Greenwich YMCA Marlins Diving Club – an organization that she has honed her skills at for more than five years, under the guidance of coaches Dylan Korn, Lindsay Iordache (former Marlins coach, now coaching at Yale University) and Brooke Reinfeld.
“My three coaches have been the backbone of all of my diving,” Bingle said. “I owe so much of my success to them.”
One of Bingle’s diving heroes is David Boudia, who won the gold medal in the 10-meter platform diving at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
“He is my biggest inspiration,” she said. “I think he has an incredible mindset and he is impeccable on the board.”
Bingle enters the Cardinals’ upcoming season with high expectations.
“Kevin Thompson (GHS diving coach, who Bingle also credits for her achievements) and I are looking to break some records,” she said. “I’m hoping to get the school record and maybe the state record too. I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing and get back into competing. The last two years have been on hold, due to the pandemic. It takes a lot of practicing to learn how to compete – it’s a very mental sport.”
Indeed, Bingle knows how to physically and mentally prepare for competitive diving.
“I listen to a lot of music on the pool deck and I do a lot of visualization before the meet,” Bingle said. “It Really helps me get in the mindset I need to be in. Hydration is also important.”
Modeling, which involves a diver going through the motions they are going to use on a specific dive, so their body gets used to all the actions, is practice that Bingle also uses in preparation for a meet. She is especially looking forward to her senior season on Greenwich’s diving squad.
“We have a super strong team, I was really impressed by everyone,” she said. “Everybody was super talented in such a hard year and I was impressed with how everyone handled themselves. We were able to have two teams last year, a JV and varsity diving team. This year, we should have even more divers, so it should be a great season.”