BY MICHAEL KELLY
POUGHKEEPSIE — Josh Dodway takes his time making the decisions that affect his life, and it pays off for him.
The 21-year-old Niskayuna resident is in the midst of finishing off his senior season of diving at Marist College, a career with the Red Foxes’ men’s swimming and diving team that has shown steady progress and earned numerous awards. His latest came Jan. 4, when he was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Student-Athlete of the Week, an award that recognizes both athletic and academic success.
In his years at Marist, the 2012 Niskayuna High School graduate has developed into one of the MAAC’s top divers — something he never expected.
“When I started thinking about competing in college, I never really saw myself getting to this point,” said Dodway, who has been named the MAAC Diver of the Week four times this season. “In high school, I wasn’t really thinking about [diving in college] too much. If I could dive where I went, I would, but as far as going to college for diving, that wasn’t my original goal.”
Dodway was a relative latecomer to diving. He said he began fooling around with dives as a middle schooler and did not take it seriously for a couple years. Once he finished his first year of high school swimming at Niskayuna, though, he decided to throw himself into the diving discipline.
“It was something I wanted to commit to and see where it would take me,” he said.
Diving ended up helping to take him to Marist, where he has twice come in second place at the conference championships in the 1-meter dive.
“I’ve definitely grown as a diver here, ability-wise,” Dodway said. “The biggest difference for me, especially this year, is my competitive mindset going into things … being able to relax and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Like his athletic career, Dodway didn’t rush to focus on a single academic path in college. After trying out a few different things — business, political science, pre-law — he found environmental sciences and declared that as his major in the second semester of his sophomore year.
“It took me a little bit of time, but I’m happy where I am now,” said Dodway, a MAAC All-Academic Team pick as a sophomore and junior.
He said he was able to spend some time at home during his winter vacation, but spent a good portion of his break in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a training trip with the Red Foxes. His hope, he said, is to finish off his senior diving season on an upswing.
“My main focus, our team focus, is on the MAACs, the conference championships,” Dodway said. “Individually, it’s something I’ve never won and I’d love to end on a high note.”
Dodway said he is set to graduate next winter, because he needs a few more credits to earn his degree since he did not finalize his major until late in his sophomore year. Once he graduates, Dodway said he is excited to put his degree in environmental sciences to work.
“But I’m still very unsure [what I want to do with it],” he said. “I’m still exploring.”
Chances are, Dodway will find the right fit.