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Champions share diverse talents

Chris Colwill is an outstanding diver - and he swims for the Terrapins, too.

By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2001


TAMPA -- Since the age of 5, Chris Colwill has been an outstanding diver.

In international competition as a member of the USA Junior Diving Team, he has won six gold, two silver and two bronze medals. In age-group competition, he has won seven junior national championships, one world championship and a Pan American title.

He won his first state diving title as a seventh-grader in the toughest competition class.

A junior at Tampa Prep, Colwill won his second state championship this season, blowing away the competition. Colwill's score of 636.35 included three dives of perfect 10 scores. His second-place competitor scored a distant 471.

In addition to his diving, he helped his teammates by swimming several individual events and all relays during the regular season.

"Chris is a great kid to work with and a talented athlete," Tampa Prep coach Joe Solak said. "He is willing to do anything we ask, including helping swimming. He swims mostly sprints, the 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, plus all relays.

"Although he qualified for state on two relays, we replaced him on them. We wanted him to focus on a state diving title."

In addition to winning the state title, he won district, regional, Bay Conference, the Rotary Invitational and all dual-meet titles.

Terrapins diving coach Jennifer Frankowiak says Colwill had an enormous impact on the season.

"In several close meets, the points he made for diving made a difference for us to win," Frankowiak said.

"He will be back for another year, too. That gives us a lot to look forward to at Tampa Prep."

Colwill plans to be active in USA Diving competition. He hopes to qualify for the USA Senior National Team in 2002 and repeat as a state champion next year.

"I have a big invitational international meet in February and I am already training for that," he said. "... Ultimately, I hope to make the Olympic trials the next time around and actually make the USA team."

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