It feels like he’s flying.
That’s what Issaquah freshman Robert Gref enjoys most about bouncing off the diving board and rising high into the air above the crowd and pool.
“I’ve always loved flipping my entire life,” he said about what goes on during those dives that bring the wow factor to competitions.
At the 4A state championships on Saturday, Gref snagged 445.65 points to earn second place in the 1-meter diving competition. Andrew Adam from Auburn Riverside won the 11-dive event with 470.70 points at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
After experiencing some crashes in warmups for the final three-dive finals, Gref rebounded and especially enjoyed his last dive, which featured one and a half flips and two twists.
“I was just happy ‘cause I stood it up and I actually did it,” said Gref, who has been diving for two and a half years after sustaining a gymnastics injury.
The Issaquah youngster was all smiles while enjoying his first state meet.
“It’s really fun, the energy’s really high and I have a lot of people that were supporting me, so it’s really nice,” he said.
Gref said divers are like a small community and many of them compete in club together. After the divers received their medals, they hugged each other on the podium and took photos together on the pool deck.
In other Issaquah medal action, Christopher Harig took fifth in the 200 individual medley in 1:56.40 and the 200 medley relay (Weston Crewe, Harig, Blake Ueda and William Paxton) placed seventh in 1:39.19.
Other solid finishes came from Crewe in the 100 backstroke, ninth in 52.93; Harig in the 100 breaststroke, ninth in 58.90; and the 400 freestyle relay (Paxton, Christopher Leu, Crewe and Harig), ninth in 3:17.40. For full results, check wiaa.com.