Warren gives Parkview boost with surprise diving title

ATLANTA -- Expectations were relatively low for Gwinnett County's competitors in the Class AAAAAAA state diving championships on Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

But local divers in the boys competition not only surpassed expectations in many respects, they downright dominated.

Parkview's Ben Warren led a large group of five county divers among the top finishers by posting 349.25 points over 11 dives to win the competition.

The surprise win gave the Panthers a major boost in trying to defend last year's state championship in the boys swimming competition.

"Ben did a great job," Parkview swimming coach Jack Gayle said. "It was one of his high scores (of the season), maybe the highest, I'd have to check. But it got the guys really pumped up to know the divers did such a great job for them coming into (Saturday) night with some big points already on the board."

Warren wasn't the only Gwinnett swimmer putting points on the board as local divers occupied nine of the top 14 placers to score points for their teams.

Among the other top area finishers were Brendan Eckard of Duluth took third with 337 points, while Norcross' Griffin Ramsey took fifth with 329.35 points.

Grayson really racked up team points in the diving competition with three individuals in the top 10, led by Josh Covalschi in seventh at 319.85, Jeremy Rutledge in eight at 315.90 and Josh White in 10th at 308.70.

Gwinnett's girls divers weren't quite as dominant, but a trio did score points for its team by qualifying for the finals, with Anna Cate Miller of Peachtree Ridge taking 11th place at 331.90, followed closely by Duluth's Erin Hembree in 12th at 323.40 and Mill Creek's Lexi Sasche in 14th at 308.95.