Collin Brownell had finished diving Sunday in Tuscon, Arizona, and approached his coach, Robert Wimberly.
Brownell, 11, eagerly asked Wimberly’s opinion before the final scores were in if he thought he’d done enough to advance to the national championships. Wimberly said he thought so, and sure enough, Brownell was in the top 12 at the USA Diving Summer Junior Zone E Championships.
He took 11th in the 3-meter competition for boys 12-13 with a score of 238.95 and a 10th place in the 1-meter event at 222.75. He was ninth in the platform event wtih a 201.40.
“It was one of the better meets I’ve had and they were some of the better numbers I’ve put up,” Brownell said.
“I’ve never made it this far.”
The Lodi native grew up a gymnast, competing as early as age 6 before deciding he’d had enough. He opted to give diving a try and said he, “fell in love” with it.
He’s competed in diving qualifiers before with his best accomplishment before a berth into the Western Nationals.
Wimberly says he was impressed with Brownell when he first came out and has improved a lot in a short amount of time.
“He was scoring 8s (out of 10) on his revers dive tuck and his back dive tuck,” Wimberly said. “That is really good considering we don’t have a platform to practice on at Delta (College).”
Teammate Cari Reiswig, of Galt, also competed in the 16-18 division. She qualified for Nationals with a 13th place on 1-meter and 11th place on 3-meter.
Family: Parents Cindy and Rob, sister Morgan
Favorite sport: Diving
Favorite athlete: British diver and Olympian Thomas Daley
Best sports moment: “When I get to do a new dive. That feeling is great.”
Worst sports moment: Whenever I don’t have a good practice.”
Hobbies: Playing with friends and building things.
Favorite local restaurant: Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill
Must-see TV: “The Olympics when they are on and 19 Kids and Counting.”
Dream vacation: Any diving trip
Plans: Brownell will be going into sixth grade in the fall at Vinyard Christian Elementary and eventually to Jim Elliot Christian. He wants to be a mechanical engeneer some day.
The Athlete of the Week is selected by the News-Sentinel sports staff. Nominations are gladly accepted. Brownell will receive a T-shirt courtesy of Lodi Sporting Goods for being selected.