The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Diving into the successes of Landon Orth

Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
Freshman diver Landon Orth was dominant in Nebraska diving.

Qualifying for NCAA swimming and diving regionals is no easy feat, and before this year only one other Leopard in Lafayette swim and dive history had ever done it. Landon Orth did it as a freshman, breaking the school’s 1-meter dive record in the process.

“I think it went pretty smoothly,” Orth said regarding his freshman season.

Orth started diving when he was six years old. He credited his discovery of his passion for the sport to his first backflip off of a diving board.

“I saw a mom teaching her daughter how to do a backflip,” Orth said. “I bet my dad that I could do it, and I did. My mom signed me up for lessons after that, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”

Orth attended Papillion-La Vista Senior High School in Nebraska where he excelled as a diver. He qualified for and placed among the top five in the Nebraska State Championship all four years of his high school career, peaking at second his junior year. Orth also competed nationally throughout his career.

When it became time to choose where he would spend the next four years of his career, Orth had offers from as high-level programs as Penn State but quickly fell in love with Lafayette. Part of what sold him on the swimming and diving team was his connection to head coach Jim Dailey.

“We’re actually from the same hometown back in Nebraska,” Orth said. “That connection was really cool to have. The campus was also beautiful, and I really felt like I could see myself going here.”

Orth wasted no time going to work once he became a Leopard. In the team’s season opener versus Loyola Maryland, he placed first in the 1-meter dive and second in the 3-meter dive with finishes of 277.80 and 235.95, respectively. He never slowed down as he would go on to compile five more first-place finishes throughout the season.

The 2023-2024 campaign would not go without adversity for Orth. He suffered an injury in January that kept him sidelined for dual meets against Rider and Mount St. Mary’s. However, he quickly recovered and placed at every meet after coming back, including an eighth-place finish in the 1-meter dive at the Patriot League championship.

An impressive freshman resume would not go unrewarded. Orth joined 2010 graduate Kevin Oswalt as the second diver in school history to compete at NCAA regionals over spring break, where he finished 45th out of 63 with a score of 240.25.

Orth is looking forward to finishing his first year of college and getting back on the diving board next fall.

“Outside of diving, I’m enjoying my major, which is biology,” Orth said. “It’s been interesting to learn about it all throughout the year. I’d say that I had a successful freshman year, but I’m only looking to improve as we get ready for next season.”

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About the Contributors
Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan, Staff Sports Writer
Austin Carey
Austin Carey, Staff Photographer

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