Colin Hobbs is making a big splash
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 12, 2009 1:46 PM
Eastern Wayne's Colin Hobbs is taking a dive.
Hobbs became the first diver in school history to compete during the Class 3-A N.C. High School Athletic Association eastern regional meet at the Goldsboro Family Y. The spring-board pioneer, a sophomore, earned a gold medal for his efforts and a trip to the state championships on Friday at the University of North Carolina's Koury Natatorium.
"It feels really good to come out here and be the first person to go to states," said Hobbs. "I got into diving after our swimming season last year and now it's my only focus."
During the regional meet Hobbs displayed a variety of dives that showcased both his athleticism and his technical prowess. He executed a strong forward 1 1/2 somersault that caused little splash when he hit the water.
"My favorite dive is probably my one and a half... It's also the dive I think I do the best," said Hobbs "It was one of the first ones I learned and now I am confident that I score well with it."
For the last 11 months Hobbs has been under the watchful eye of instructor Ben Farlow.
"The YMCA was having some diving classes for younger kids and I decided I wanted to try it," Hobbs said. "I started learning a little bit and really got into it over the summer."
Farlow, a former UNC Wilmington diving standout, says Hobbs has potential.
"Colin has really progressed since we started working together," said Farlow. "I don't know what will happen between now and then, but I could see him becoming a college level diver down the road."
Hobbs and Farlow have a few tricks up their sleeves for the state meet.
"We have been working on a few new dives," said Farlow. "We want to increase the degree of difficulty while keeping the scores up."
Hobbs, who also plays soccer at Eastern Wayne, admitted that he will have to shake some butterflies from his belly before the state championships.
"I am a little nervous already," said Hobbs. "It all depends on who shows up out of the west. I know one of the better divers in the state will not be there because he's going to a national meet, so I guess we'll see what happens."
Execution will be the key to state supremacy.
"Colin was diving really well about two weeks ago and since then he has struggled a little bit," said Farlow. "If he can get to what he was doing, I really think he can be competitive."
With Hobbs' continued success, the sport of diving has found renewed interest throughout Wayne County. Diving classes are offered by the Y several times throughout the year and are open to all ages. Before the swimming season got underway, Farlow worked with potential divers from all three 3-A schools in the county.
"Colin is the only one that had the athletic ability and the guts to take it this far," said Farlow. "I am really happy to be able to help him succeed."
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