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Cory-ography: ODU’s Moreno makes a splash

NORFOLK, Va. - Divers spring at the chance to express themselves.

"It's definitely different," admitted Old Dominion diver Brant Knoblaugh. "It's fun to not be grouped in with the other swimmers."

Old Dominion diver Cory Moreno

Old Dominion diver Cory Moreno

"There is no mold to fit into," added Old Dominion diving coach Robert Carlisle. "Diving is all about creativity."

At ODU diving practice, there's music on the deck and there's movement on the board. But then - in a splash - it's gone.

Be it from one meter or three meters, when the dive is done - the performance is over. But not for junior Cory Moreno. He's the exception to the pool.

"I've never really one that's able to sit still for too long," Cory admitted.

Moreno, who already owns the school record in the three meter, sees his life away from the water flow as smoothly as one of his dives into it.

"It's all about being relaxed," Moreno explained. "Just going out there and being yourself, letting that creativity come out."

Moreno is a dance major at ODU. He's appeared in numerous on-campus productions. But he's also got productions of his own. Five of his original songs (he sings and plays the piano) are available on iTunes.

But Moreno dives even deeper.

A short film he helped write, direct, score and star in won top honors in ODU's Campus Moviefest.

"When I get up on the board, I usually pick a song and have that song playing in my head," Cory said. "Dancing and diving, they're both based on technique. There are a lot of parallels between the two."

To be a diver, especially a successful one, you have to be comfortable in your own skin. And yes, you can thank the Speedo for some of that. But Cory is also confident in his self; His sexuality, his style, his symmetry - both on the board and on the stage.

"For such a long time, being gay was something that was so frowned upon," Moreno revealed.

"[As coaches] we make sure to, at the appropriate time, get out of our divers' ways," Carlisle noted. "Try not to overcoach. We let them find themselves."

"It's taken a good amount of time to get to that confidence and get to that comfortableness," Cory added. "But where I am now, I'm very very proud of who I am."

So when the dive is done and the movement and the music go away, Moreno's Cory-ography is still far from going under.