May 12, 2022
When two-time state diving finalist Aryeh Lesch first visited the Dartmouth campus last July, he knew the school and swim program was just right for him. The only question was whether or not he’d get accepted.
“I visited back in July and met with a coach and the team, and I really liked it,” Lesch says. “But then I didn’t end up actually getting recruited, so I kind of gave up on the idea of pursuing coaches and being recruited. And I thought I would apply, see what worked out and then talk to coaches afterwards.”
Fortunately, Lesch was accepted, and now has his eyes set on a program that is rebuilding from the ground up, after boy’s swimming was cut from Dartmouth’s athletics during the early stages of COVID-19.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to compete on a team that has some potential in the next couple of years. The program was cut over COVID and then brought back. I mean, it’s going to be exciting to be in that rebuilding program.”
Lesch finished seventh in the IHSA state finals as a sophomore, something that he says was the biggest confidence booster for him—especially being an underclassman at the time. This year, he won Evanston’s sectional and took sixth at state. Aside from his individual diving achievements, Lesch took on a strong leadership position this year as the most senior and accomplished diver on the ETHS team.
“This season was just really great,” Lesch says. “Having a bunch of younger divers who I can coach a little bit and just watching them improve was really cool to see. Just being a senior on the team was a really different and fun experience.”
Apart from a four-year diving experience at ETHS, Lesch is also a varsity gymnast and a strong student who is planning on majoring in either economics or history. As a multi-sport athlete, he can’t help but reflect on his career as his high school days come to an end.
“I just had my gymnastics senior night,” Lesch says. “During that and the swim and dive season, it’s a really sentimental time. The individual sports teams at ETHS are great smaller communities within the school. It’s a great opportunity for self improvement. And that’s definitely what I got out of Evanston athletics.”