Kristen Link and Lindsay Long

When twenty-year-old Kristen Link, a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, asked eighteen-year-old freshman Lindsay Long to be her synchronized diving partner in the spring of 1997, Long wasn’t sure she wanted to take the plunge. “It’s scary enough to dive by yourself, and in synchronized diving you have to worry about doing it with somebody else,” says the Kentucky native. “But I finally decided to do it, and it paid off.” She’s not kidding. The dynamic diving duo won the bronze medal at the 1997 FINA World Cup in Mexico City, another bronze in January at the World Aquatic Championships in Perth, Australia, and in August, a fourth consecutive gold medal at the twice-yearly U.S. Nationals Diving Championships in Atlanta. Still, Link and Long know they have to work hard to stay afloat. “Our biggest meet coming up is the World Cup in New Zealand next January, so we’re going to start training for that,” says Link, who hails from Virginia. “The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships next March in Georgia is always in the back of our minds, and there’s the Western Athletic Conference Championships next February in Oklahoma City. So we’re going to be busy.”

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