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Diving star not lacking in loyalty

Heavily-recruited Tampa Prep senior Chris Colwill may pitch in and swim some events this season to help the Terrapins.

By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002


BRANDON -- With a spot on the USA National Diving Team and on the fast-track to a tryout in the 2004 Olympic Trials, Chris Colwill doesn't need to participate in high school competition.

But tell that to him.

The Tampa Prep senior already has plenty) of scholarship (offers), but he wouldn't dream of coming out of the pool.

"It hasn't entered my mind not to dive my senior year of high school," Colwill said. "For my team, I want to do all I can this year, not only diving, but I will help by swimming where I am needed.

"At state though, I will focus only on diving. I want to break the existing record of 650 points. I scored 636 last year and I think I can break the record."

Colwill won the Class A state diving championship as a freshman and a junior. As a sophomore he placed third.

But that isn't the half of the rising star's success.

In the USA Senior National Diving Championships in July, Colwill won gold on the 1-meter springboard, bronze on the platform and placed fifth on the 3-meter. His performances earned him a spot at the World Trials.

Only the top two divers in each event at the World Trials qualified for the World Championships. Colwill placed second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter but did not qualify for the platform.

In the World Championships last month, he won the bronze medal in the 1-meter and placed 16th in the 3-meter and learned some valuable lessons.

"The most interesting thing to me in the World Championships was the work ethic, determination and focus of the best divers," Colwill said.

"I spent most of my time in the stands as a spectator, watching them practice and compete. They work so hard even with their out-of-water drills, it's incredible.

"They did the same things over and over, paying attention to the small things."

Colleges are hot on Colwill's trail. He has reduced his options to Auburn, Florida, Texas, Alabama and Georgia and plans to make trips to all five this year.

"I have some goals for after high school, which include college and a lot of diving before the 2004 Olympics," Colwill said.

"I have no regrets about choosing this sport. In one of my down times, I realized diving is what I do and it is a part of who I am.

"I have a ways to go yet and I still have a lot to learn."

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