by Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Kollin Hansuld is looking to make a return trip to the Missouri State High School Boys Swimming and Diving Championships this season.
It will start with him attempting to qualify at the district diving event next week.
His performance at the Suburban Conference Diving Championships Thursday at Belton High School might be a good indication that he has a solid chance of punching his ticket to the state competition.
The junior took first place in the Suburban White Conference out of four divers with an 11-dive score of 343.85. He was fourth among all Suburban Conference divers.
“This was a big goal I set at the beginning of the year,” Hansuld said of winning the conference diving title. “Up next is to just get ready for districts.”
“I just have to listen to my coaches and I will be all right.”
In practice, Hansuld said he has been working on “the little things” like the hurdle, the rotation and the entry. He said he has been working on his reverse 1 ½ and front 2/12 twister. He said his best dives were the inward 1 ½ and the back 1 ½.
“I can do those dives any day. Those are easy for me,” Hansuld said of the inward 1 ½ and the back 1 ½.
His teammate, freshman Gage Wright, will be joining him at districts.
He took second in the conference and finished sixth among all divers with a score of 329.30. His best dive was the reverse 1 ½ pike.
“I was really surprised on that dive,” Wright said. “I did a good job on it. That’s the first time I have done that dive at the meet.”
The freshman said he is confident he can make it state if he puts in the proper work. Another goal of his is to increase the difficulty of his dives so he can achieve higher scores.”
“I think I can,” Wright said. “I will have to put some extra work in.”
The other Eagle to compete Thursday was Riley Strickland, who was fourth in the conference with a score of 189.90.
Grain Valley junior Kollin Hansuld too first place in the Suburban White Conference driving meet with a score of 343.85. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley freshman Gage Wright took second place with a score of 329.30. Photo credit: Michael Smith