NCAA Division III Week Spotlight: Sophia Farbarzhevich, Women’s Diving

Editor’s note: From Monday-Sunday, April 1-7, Hope College Athletics is celebrating NCAA Division III Week with member schools across the country as we observe and celebrate the impact Division III athletics and student-athletes have on campus and in the surrounding community. There are special events planned at Hope Athletics home events throughout the week. Check out Hope Athletics social media accounts for more stories. As part of Division III Week, Hope softball pitcher and communication major Grace Connelly ‘25 is profiling four peers throughout Division III Week for the Hope Athletics blog.

Hope College senior Sophia Farbarzhevich has made the most of her time, in and out of the pool, as an NCAA Division III student-athlete.

In addition to being a high-achieving diver on the MIAA champion women’s swimming and diving team, she has been on a pre-medicine track: majoring in Spanish and minoring in chemistry and neuroscience. 

Farbarzhevich (Grand Rapids, Michigan / Forest Hills Northern HS) is involved in research, the pre-health professionals club, and the Students Teaching and Empowering Peers (STEP) organization. She is a member of the Sigma Iota Beta (SIB) sorority. She went on a Sports Evangelism to Equip Disciples (SEED) trip to Zambia.

As Farbarzhevich has continued to commit her time to various activities, she has understood the importance of being present. With a rigorous schedule, she has to be intentional with her time and understand what is important.

People are at the top of her list. It’s a priority that has played a key role in the development and success of the diving team, diving coach Becca Garza said. 

“This sport is about relationships and connections,” Garza said. “Soph loves and craves relationships. She has been such a blessing to help build the program over the last four years.”

As Farbarzhevich has grown in this confidence, she has seen success both academically and athletically.  

She was named to the All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team as a junior and the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Second Team as a sophomore. 

Farbarzhevich focuses on what others have given her.  Throughout her time with the dive team, the relationships she’s cultivated have become a huge part of who she is.

“Setting out time for the people I love has been really important and has changed me for the better,” Farbarzhevich said. “I have learned so much about myself and others, trying to understand who I am while growing through diving. 

“As I’ve grown closer with the dive team, we have become a family. I have seen characteristics within the other athletes that I desire to see in myself which helped me become more comfortable and confident with who I am.”

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