BLOOMINGTON — It was a scene of rivals united at the regional diving competition at Bloomington North High School on Tuesday night, as two Columbus divers competed alongside each other.
It was the first time East freshman Cordell Glass and North senior Sam Larson competed in the regional competition, and although neither Larson (19th) nor Glass (17th) advanced to the state competition, they displayed an encouraging attitude toward each other and a mutual respect.
“It was really cool to see the boys sitting alongside each other and cheering each other on,” said third-year East diving coach Benjamin Prohl. “Normally we see these two schools rooting against each other pretty hard, but tonight, they seemed more like a team.”
Both Glass’ and Larson’s streak ended after they did not make the cut of the top 12 divers to advance to the second part of the regional competition.
Glass ended with a score of 196.70, while Larson had a 181.15. The top diver was Michael Peterson of Perry Meridian, who advanced out of the round with a score of 340.85.
Seymour diver Nick Hester qualified for the state championship by finishing seventh with 336.35 points. Just missing out on a state berth were Jennings County’s Lane Sawyer (ninth at 326.55) and Seymour’s Chris Robinson (10th at 312.05).
Glass has not been in the pool long, as he grew up simply knowing that he loved jumping and flipping on the trampoline in his backyard.
He trained in the pool in middle school, and finally decided to take up diving this season at East.
Now, as a freshman, he was the first East diver to qualify for the regional competition in the past seven years.
“I was just hoping to do my best here today,” Glass said. “I just tried to keep myself calm and composed, and I am happy with just having made it. I am excited to see what happens in the next three years.”
The first thing that Glass did after finding out he would not advance was to voluntarily congratulate each of his opponents.
Prohl spoke highly of the freshman’s maturity and strong character.
“I did not tell him to congratulate his opponents, and not everyone does that,” Prohl said of Glass. “He a good sport, very mature, and is always striving to improve,”
Although Larson will not see another year on the North diving team, he said he was also proud to have finally made it to the regional.
“I worked really hard this year, and I just wanted to come out here and do my best,” Larson said. “My goal was to make it to regional, so i am happy with it. Although, of course, I would have liked to advance, it is a good way to go out.”
“Of course there are things I am going to miss about it, but it was a great four years,” Larson said.
Prohl has high hopes for Glass, saying that he has a natural talent for the sport.
“Now that he has been at a high level of competition, I think he will be able to see the difference between being good, and being really good,” Prohl said.
As for Glass, he is as ambitious as they come.
“I was happy to be here this year, but senior year, I will win state,” Glass said.
“He is what every coach wants to see,” Prohl said. “He is not perfect, but he continues to grow, he works hard and he wants to get better. He is the type of person that Columbus East is proud to have on its team.”