Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bonner brothers give Wisconisn dual diving threat

When they began their first day of diving at the University of Wisconsin, Justin and Josh Bonner found brotherhood became more beneficial than competitive.

“It is both competitive, yet very beneficial at the same time,” Justin said. “We push each other to do our best whenever we compete, and there is always something we can learn from each other, win or lose. It’s great for our training.”

“It’s also important because we have the chance to do synchronized diving, which is always fun,” Josh added.


While there is no synchronized diving in NCAA competitions, the Bonner twins have future dreams on diving synchronized in the next Olympic Trials.

Though they share the same goal and the same passion for diving, both are very different.

“The first month I could not tell them apart,” diving head coach Josh Seykora said. “I still call them the wrong names, but I’m getting to know their personalities. They are both very different attitude wise and diving wise.”

“It’s fun to see them interact with each other,” he continued. “They really support each other and bat for each other. It’s neat to see that.”

Both favor the same board, the 1-meter over the 3-meter and 10-meter platform, but have a different taste in dives. Justin, who started diving two years prior to Josh at the age of six, prefers a forward two-somersault twist on the 3-meter, while Josh’s favorite dive is a single reverse with two twists off the 1-meter.

With those highly scored dives, the Ridley Park, Pa., twins have caused quite a splash in the Big Ten.

In the dual meet against Iowa, Josh swept the diving events, winning the 1-meter and 3-meter board, while Justin placed second on the 1-meter and third on the 3-meter.

Josh’s sweep led to his first Big Ten Diver of the Week honor.

“I was extremely honored to receive this award,” Josh said. “Being a freshman, it’s hard to earn respect in your conference early on because nobody knows you. It let me know where I stand in the Big Ten and it shows me just how much harder I need to keep working.”

“I was happy for him,” Justin said. “It is a very special honor, he competed extremely well that meet, and so it was nice for him to get that award for being a freshman.”

The award was not only big for Josh, but it was a huge step for the formerly struggling men’s diving program.

The men’s team went without a diver during the 2002 season and only managed to sign one diver for the 2003 season. This year the Badgers have a solid set of four men’s divers with the Bonners leading the way.

“Josh and Justin are very hard workers and they desire to do well,” Seykora said. “They really want to be a part of this men’s team and they want to be big point scorers for the team and they want the diving team to do as best as possible. They are excited to be in the position that they are in, but we are asking a lot from them in a short amount of time because of a need to score high in the NCAA and Big Ten.”

Though the need will be fulfilled in time, there is no doubt that the brothers are ready to step up.

This weekend will be their first chance to showcase their talents as the duo faces tough competition at the Texas Invitational in Austin.

Six other diving teams from around the country will be competing on all three boards. Competitors include Big Ten rival Michigan and diving powerhouse Texas.

“My goal for Texas is to have three consistent days, to do well on every board, and ultimately walk out of the pool knowing I had my best meet this season,” Justin said.

Just like his brother, Josh plans on having consistent days and plans on qualifying for finals in each season.

At Texas and at every meet, Josh and Justin will always have something strong and close to their hearts and minds; to know that their sibling is right by their side supporting them 100 percent.

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